Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 9–16 | Cite as

Chloroplast ultrastructure, photosynthetic apparatus activities and production of steviol glycosides in Stevia rebaudiana in vivo and in vitro

  • V. G. Ladygin
  • N. I. Bondarev
  • G. A. Semenova
  • A. A. Smolov
  • O. V. Reshetnyak
  • A. M. Nosov
Original Papers


The accumulation of steviol glycosides (SGs) in cells of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni both in vivo and in vitro was related to the extent of the development of the membrane system of chloroplasts and the content of photosynthetic pigments. Chloroplasts of the in vitro plants, unlike those of the intact plants, had poorly developed membrane system. The callus cells grown in the light contained proplastids of almost round shape and their thylakoid system was represented by short thylakoids sometimes forming a little number of grana consisting of 2–3 thylakoids. In cells of the etiolated in vitro regenerants and the callus culture grown in the dark, only proplastids practically lacking the membrane system were observed. All the chloroplasts having developed thylakoids and forming at least a little number of grana were equipped with photochemically active reaction centers of photosystems 1 and 2. Leaves of in vivo plants accumulated greater amount of the pigments than leaves of the in vitro plants. In both the callus culture grown in the light and the etiolated in vitro regenerants, the content of the pigments was one order of magnitude lower than that in leaves of the intact plants. The callus tissue grown in the dark contained merely trace amounts of the pigments. Leaves of the intact and the in vitro plants did not exhibit any significant differences in photosynthetic O2 evolution rate. However, photosynthetic O2 evolution rate in the callus cells was much lower than that in the differentiated plant cells. The in vitro cell cultures containing merely proplastids did not practically produce SGs. However, after transferring these cultures in the light, both the formation of chloroplasts and the production of SGs in them were detected.

Additional key words

photosynthetic rate photosynthetic pigments rebaudiosides A and C stevioside 





high performance liquid chromatography


Murashige and Skoog


α-naphthaleneacetic acid




reaction centre


steviol glycosides


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Copyright information

© Institute of Experimental Botany, ASCR 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. G. Ladygin
    • 1
  • N. I. Bondarev
    • 3
  • G. A. Semenova
    • 2
  • A. A. Smolov
    • 1
  • O. V. Reshetnyak
    • 3
  • A. M. Nosov
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Basic Biological ProblemsRuss. Acad. Sci.Pushchino, Moscow RegionRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Teoretical and Experimental BiophysicsRuss. Acad. Sci.Pushchino, Moscow RegionRussia
  3. 3.Timiryazev Institute of Plant PhysiologyRuss. Acad. Sci.MoscowRussia

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