2 - PLB 105 Lab ManualFall 2010 page 2-1 Laboratory 2 The...

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PLB 105 Lab Manual—Fall 2010 page 2-1 Laboratory 2 The Plant Cell In today's laboratory session you will examine a few selected plant cell organelles and ergastic substances and continue to hone your skills in microscopy, sectioning and staining, and drawing. A. The Plant Cell—Plastids and Ergastic Substances Understanding the contemporary science of plant anatomy is, to a large extent, founded on a thorough grasp of plant cell structure. Becoming familiar with the structure and function of individual plant cells, including their intracellular organelles and cell walls, will enhance your understanding of the organization of plant tissues and tissue systems. Today, a few of these cellular features will be emphasized. Not all organelles are easily distinguished at the resolution of a light microscope. However, many are visible, and a visible organelle that is familiar to all of you is the green plastid called a chloroplast. Two types of plastids that may not be as familiar are the chromoplast and the amyloplast. In this section of today's lab you will examine these three plastids and a selection of crystals commonly encountered in plant cells. 1. Plastids Plastids are derived from the proplastids of meristematic cells. Proplastids are self- replicating and may mature into any of numerous types of plastids. Plastid type is mainly dependent upon the presence or absence of pigment and the type of pigment. For example, chloroplasts contain chlorophyll and leucoplasts lack pigments but specialize in storing plant products such as starch ( amyloplast ) or fats ( elaioplast ). A plastid may exhibit characteristics of more than one type of plastid and plastids may change types. The type of plastid present is chiefly determined by the type of cell in which the proplastid matures.
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