The quantitative changes in the major organelles, chloroplasts and mitochondria, were followed in order to evaluate plant cell responses to prolonged atmospheric pollution. Chlorenchyma cells were compared in needle and leaves of evergreen (Pinus sylvestris, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea), deciduous (Betula pubescens, V. myrtillus, and V. uliginosum), and herbaceous (Cornus suecica, Potentilla erecta, and Solidago lapponica) plants growing at distances of 65 to 70 km (an undisturbed habitat) and 8 to 10 km (a heavily damaged habitat) from the “Severonikel” industrial complex in the town of Monchegorsk on the Kola peninsula. Chlorenchyma cells with the structure undamaged by atmospheric pollination were used for comparison. In undamaged (depressed) chlorenchyma cells of needles and leaves affected by heavy pollination, the morphometric analysis showed that the chloroplast density did not change, while the mitochondrial density increased in most species under study. The considerable increase in the number of mitochondria in the depressed chlorenchyma cells of needles and leaves in evergreen plant species seems to constitute the mechanism for plant compensation under prolonged stress conditions.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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