What are Plastids?

Plastids are double-membrane organelle which are found in the cells of plants and algae. Plastids are responsible for manufacturing and storing of food. These often contain pigments that are used in photosynthesis and different types of pigments that can change the colour of the cell.

Explore More: Photosynthesis


Types of Plastids

There are different types of plastids with their specialized functions. Among which few are mainly classified based on the presence or absence of the Biological pigments and their stages of development.

  • Chloroplasts
  • Chromoplasts
  • Gerontoplasts
  • Leucoplasts

types of plastids


Chloroplasts are biconvex shaped, semi-porous, double membraned, permeable cell organelle found within the mesophyll of the plant cell.They are the sites for synthesis food by the process of photosynthesis.
Also Refer: Chloroplasts


Chromoplasts is the name given to an area for all the pigments to be kept and synthesized in the plant. These can be usually found in flowering plants, aging leaves and fruits. Chloroplasts convert into chromoplasts. Chromoplasts are carotenoid pigments that allow different colours that you see in leaves and fruits. The main reason for its structure and the colour for attracting pollinators.


These are basically chloroplasts that go with the aging process. Geronoplasts refers to the chloroplasts of the leaves that helps the beginning to convert into different other organelles when the leaf is no longer using photosynthesis usually in an autumn month.


These are the non-pigmented organelles which are colourless. Leucoplasts are usually found in most of the non-photosynthetic parts of the plant like roots. They act as a storage sheds for starches, lipids, and proteins depending on the needs of the plants. They are mostly used for converting amino acids and fatty acids.

Leucoplasts are of three types:

  • Amyloplasts – Amyloplasts are greatest among all three – Amyloplasts, proteinoplasts and elaioplasts and are easily charged with storing starch.
  • Proteinoplasts – Proteinoplasts helps in storing the proteins that a plant needs and can be typically found in seeds.
  • Elaioplasts -Elaioplasts helps in storing fats and oils that are needed by the plant.

Inheritance of Plastids

There are many plants which are inherited from the plastids from just a single parent. Angiosperms inherit plastids from the female gamete while there are many gymnosperms that inherit plastids from the male pollen. Algae inherit plastids from one parent only. The inheritance of the plastids DNA seems to be 100% uniparental. In hybridisation, the inheritance of plastid seems to be more erratic.
Also Refer: Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more in detail about Plant Cell, Plastids, Types, Structure and its functions.

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