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Amyloplasts of a potato

Leukoplasts (white plastid from ancient Greek λευκός leukós , German 'white' and ancient Greek πλαστός plastós , German 'formed' ) are an inhomogeneous group of organelles in algae and plant cells. In addition to the chromoplasts and chloroplasts , they form a subgroup of the plastids . Leukoplasts are colorless and therefore contain no chlorophyll and do not photosynthesize . They are located in the ground and storage tissue. There they are used to store oil ( elaioplasts), Proteins ( proteinoplasts ) and starches ( amyloplasts ).

Leukoplasts arise from proplastids. In evolutionary terms, they probably emerged from chloroplasts that have lost their ability to photosynthesize. Some leukoplasts can transform into chloroplasts and chromoplasts when exposed to light stimuli.


Leukoplasts are morphologically diverse and are characterized by a slightly developed membrane system .


The main function consists in the synthesis of monoterpenes (volatile components of vegetable oils), especially for chemical defense against pathogens and predators (occurrence therefore in epidermal layers that border on the outside). In addition, leukoplasts can act as protein storage locations (see also proteinoplast ).


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Botany online: cells and tissues - plant cells