Multiple microscopic approaches demonstrate linkage between chromoplast architecture and carotenoid composition in diverse Capsicum annuum fruit.

Research paper by James J Kilcrease, Aaron M AM Collins, Richard D RD Richins, Jerilyn A JA Timlin, Mary A MA O'Connell

Indexed on: 15 Oct '13Published on: 15 Oct '13Published in: The Plant Journal


Increased accumulation of specific carotenoids in plastids through plant breeding or genetic engineering requires an understanding of the limitations that storage sites for these compounds may impose on that accumulation. Here, using Capsicum annuum L. fruit, we demonstrate directly the unique sub-organellar accumulation sites of specific carotenoids using live cell hyperspectral confocal Raman microscopy. Further, we show that chromoplasts from specific cultivars vary in shape and size, and these structural variations are associated with carotenoid compositional differences. Live-cell imaging utilizing laser scanning confocal (LSCM) and confocal Raman microscopy, as well as fixed tissue imaging by scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), all demonstrated morphological differences with high concordance for the measurements across the multiple imaging modalities. These results reveal additional opportunities for genetic controls on fruit color and carotenoid-based phenotypes.