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Isolation of Intact and Functional Chloroplasts from Mesophyll and Bundle Sheath Protoplasts of the C4 Plant Panicum miliaceum1

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A procedure is described for isolating and purifying mesophyll protoplasts and bundle sheath protoplasts of the C4 plant Panicum miliaceum. Following enzymic digestion of leaf tissue, mesophyll protoplasts and bundle sheath protoplasts are released and purified by density centrifugation. The lower density of mesophyll protoplasts allowed rapid separation of the two protoplast types. Evidence for separation of mesophyll protoplasts and bundle sheath protoplasts (up to 95% purity) is provided from light microscopy (based on size difference in both chloroplasts and protoplasts), levels of marker enzymes in the preparations (i.e. pyruvate, Pi dikinase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase for mesophyll and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase for bundle sheath), and differences in substrate-dependent O2 evolution by chloroplasts isolated from protoplasts.

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