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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

C4 plants differ from C3 plants in leaf anatomy in that two distinct cell types cooperate to carry out photosynthesis and in that these cells possess structurally and functionally dimorphic chloroplasts. The situation is further complicated by the occurrence of three distinct varieties of C4 photosynthesis. The state of knowledge with respect to chloroplast development in the most investigated C4 species, Zea mays, is reviewed. Fine structural dimorphism is relatively easy to investigate while the development of functional dimorphism is more difficult to understand. It is, however, an important fundamental question as to how nuclear and plastid genomes are expressed differently in adjacent cells so as to produce this dimorphism.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Sciences, King's College London ; 2: Botany Department, University of California ; 3: Universidad Central de Venezuela, Biologia-Dpto. Botanica, Aptdo. ; 4: Biology Department, Chiengmai University


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