Structure and Biogenesis of Glyoxysomes and Peroxisomes

  • Christof Sautter
Part of the Plant Gene Research book series (GENE)


Peroxisomes and glyoxysomes, often referred to under the general heading of “microbodies”, represent analogous cell organelles which compartmentalize the H2O2-producing sections of metabolic pathways. Microbodies are eukaryotic and thus are not exclusively plant organelles as plastids appear to be. However, in plants these organelles are involved in some very important metabolic pathways which are unique to the plant kingdom. In the fat-storing tissue of seedlings glyoxysomes are involved in the degradation of stored lipids and are thus essential for the mobilization of carbohydrates during the first days of germination. The glyoxysomal function of microbodies has also been described in some fungi and animals. In green leaves the peroxisomes house part of the photorespiration pathway which is unique to plants. Leaf peroxisomes play an important role in minimizing the photodestruction of the chlorophyll in C3-plants. Basically identical organelles are found in C4- and CAM-plants (Gross and Beevers, 1989; Herbert et al., 1978). Another important and plant-specific function of microbodies is their involvement in nitrate metabolism within the root nodules of fabaceous species.


Castor Bean Isocitrate Lyase Peroxisomal Enzyme Cell BioI Leaf Peroxisome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christof Sautter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PflanzenwissenschaftenEidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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