TEM of cress chloroplast growing plastic

TEM of cress chloroplast growing plastic

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This image is part of the feature Plastic From Plants

Credit: DR CHRIS SOMERVILLE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Plastic made in a plant cell. Colour Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM) of a section through a plant chloroplast containing granules of plastic. The granules (yellow) are filled with the natural biodegradable plastic polyhydroxybutyrate or PHB. The plant involved is thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana). Chloroplasts are normally the sites of photosynthesis. In this case, however, genes of the bacterium Alcaligenes eutrophus which code for plastic production were transplanted into thale cress cells. Plastic production is isolated in the chloroplasts, with plastic comprising up to 14% of the plant dry weight. Genetic engineering may enable plastics to be harvested from plant crops.

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Keywords: arabidopsis thaliana, biopolymer, biotechnology, botanical research, botany, chloroplast, genetic, genetics, phb, plant, plant biotechnology, plant produced, plant production, plastic, plastic productn, plastics, polyhydroxybutyrate, thale cress

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