Exercise B Starch Grains

Plant cells have several unique organelles (see Laboratory Topic 1). Within plant cclls arc the plastids, a family of membrane-bounded organelles. Two classes of this group are chloroplasts and chromoplasts. Chloroplasts arc the green, chlorophyll-containing organelles of photosynthesis; chromoplasts store the pigments of red, yellow and orange that color may flowers and fruits. Another type of plastid is the Icucoplast, which is colorless. A lcucoplast that stores starch is an amyloplast The starch grains within an amyloplast may have recognizable shapes and other distinguishing properties that can prove useful as identification tools in archaeology and forensics (fig. 13.2). One useful characteristic of starch grains is dieir appearance in polarizing light. A ¿Maltese cross is seen in each starch grain; its appcarancc varies somewhat with species.

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