Metabolism in Plant Peroxisomes

  • Anthony H. C. Huang
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 16)


Peroxisomes (microbodies) are present in a great variety of plant, animal and microbial cells as spherical or oblate organelles of size ranging from 0.2 to 1.5 µm in diameter. The organelle contains a dense proteinaceous matrix surrounded by a single membrane, and occasionally a crystalline or non-crystalline proteinaceous core of varying size is present in the matrix. In addition to their morphology, the peroxisomes are characterized biochemically by their enzymatic content of catalase and H2O2-producing oxidases. The organelles were first observed in plant cells by electron microscopy in the mid-1960s1–3 and biochemical studies were started independently in the mid-late 1960s.4 5 Although the plant peroxisomes were erroneously identified as other organelles, including spherosomes, microsomes, and lysosomes, they are now recognized as distinct organelles. Whereas “microbody” is a morphological term for the organelle, “peroxisome” is a biochemical term to describe the organelle being involved in the metabolism of hydrogen peroxide.6 No true peroxidase other than the peroxidative activity of catalase has been found in the organelles.


Glyoxylate Cycle Euglena Gracilis Isocitrate Lyase Urate Oxidase Glycolate Oxidase 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony H. C. Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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