This chapter describes the electron microscopic approach for analysis of dynamic changes in membrane architecture. Electron microscopy is being used for more than 30 years to evaluate the structural organization of photosynthetic membranes. The overall morphology of photosynthetic bacteria, algae, and higher plant chloroplasts has been defined with the help of electron microscopy. The use of electron microscopy has been coupled to many other biochemical or biophysical techniques to examine submembrane fragments, enzymatically digested membranes, genetically altered membranes, etc. These combined studies have greatly broadened the understanding of chloroplast membrane architecture and have led to the knowledge that the structure of the chloroplast lamellae is not static; dynamic macrostructural and microstructural changes are intimately involved in the regulation of photochemical activity. This chapter deals with the various general types of electron microscopic techniques that are used to examine chloroplast lamellae, the terminology used to define structural components, and current interpretations of structural data with respect to membrane function. This chapter primarily discusses the higher plant chloroplasts. Examples of procedures which have been found to work successfully with chloroplast lamellae are described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology