Amyloplasts are plant-specific organelles responsible for starch biosynthesis and storage. Inside amyloplasts, starch forms insoluble particles, referred to as starch grains (SGs). SG morphology differs between species and SG morphology is particularly diverse in the endosperm of Poaceae plants, such as rice (Oryza sativa) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), which form compound SGs and simple SGs, respectively. SG morphology has been extensively imaged, but the comparative imaging of amyloplast morphology has been limited. In this study, SG-containing amyloplasts in the developing endosperm were visualized using stable transgenic barley and rice lines expressing amyloplast stroma-targeted green fluorescent protein fused to the transit peptide (TP) of granule-bound starch synthase I (TP-GFP). The TP-GFP barley and rice plants had elongated amyloplasts containing multiple SGs, with constrictions between the SGs. In barley, some amyloplasts were connected by narrow protrusions extending from their surfaces. Transgenic rice lines producing amyloplast membrane-localized SUBSTANDARD STARCH GRAIN6 (SSG6)-GFP were used to demonstrate that the developing amyloplasts contained multiple compound SGs. TP-GFP barley can be used to visualize the chloroplasts in leaves and other plastids in pollen and root in addition to the endosperm, therefore it provides as a useful tool to observe diverse plastids.
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