Chloroplast protrusions (CPs) are often observed under environmental stresses, but their role has not been elucidated. The formation of CPs was observed in the leaf of rice plants treated with 75 mm NaCl for 14 d. Some CPs were almost separated from the main chloroplast body. In some CPs, inner membrane structures and crystalline inclusions were included. Similar structures surrounded by double membranes were observed in the cytoplasm and vacuole. Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) was detected in CPs and the similar structures in the cytoplasm and vacuole. These results suggest that CP is one of the pathways of Rubisco exclusion from chloroplasts into the cytoplasm under salinity, and the exclusions could be transported to vacuole for their degradation.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.