University of Illinois quantify plant cell properties in two C4 species

May 17, 2023 |

In Illinois, a team from the University of Illinois has quantified the plant cell properties in two C4 species, including cell shape, chloroplast size, and distribution of cell-to-cell connections called plasmodesmata, providing information that can change how people model photosynthesis thanks to their 3D reconstructions.

This work is part of ROGUE, a research project that aims to create an abundant and sustainable supply of oil that can be used to produce biodiesel, biojet fuel, and bioproducts with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. Much of ROGUE’s work focuses on two C4 plants, energycane and miscanthus.

Published recently in New Phytologist, their work “Exploring 3D leaf anatomical traits for C4 photosynthesis: chloroplast and plasmodesmata pit field size in maize and sugarcane,” shows detailed structures, opening the door for more analysis than was possible with previous 2D images. Their findings extend current perceptions of mesophyll cell shape, finding a more intricate structure than the bundle sheath cell which is closer to a simple cylinder.

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Category: Research

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