Plastids are crucial to plant functionality and develop from proplastids in meristem cells to generate different plastid forms in different types of plant cells. In addition to the photosynthesis of leaf mesophyll cell chloroplasts, plastids contribute to storage and pigmentation capacities in many different specialised cells as well as contributing essential metabolic pathways within the cell in general. Plastids also have the capacity to interconvert between types according to environmental and molecular signals. Progress in understanding the cell biology and morphological control of different plastid types is considered in the light of modern imaging techniques, which have revealed new aspects of plastid morphology. As well as considering molecular aspects of how plastids control their division, this article discusses also how cell-specific differentiation might be controlled and whether master control genes for plastid biogenesis might be in charge.
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