structure of plant cells

A stromule is a microscopic structure found in plant cells. Stromules (stroma-filled tubules) are highly dynamic structures extending from the surface of all plastids, including chloroplasts.

Protrusions from and interconnections between plastids were seen in 1888 and 1908, and have been described from time to time in the literature since then.[1][2][3][4]

Stromules were recently rediscovered in 1997.[5] They exist in a number of angiosperm species including Arabidopsis thaliana, wheat, rice and tomato, but their role is not yet fully understood.[6]


  1. Haberlandt, Gottlieb 1888. Die Chlorophyllkörper der Selaginellen. Flora 71, 291-308.
  2. Senn, Gustav 1908. Die Gestalts- und Lageveränderung der Pflanzen-Chromatophoren. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann Verlag.
  3. Kwok E.Y and Hanson M.R. 2004. Stromules and the dynamic nature of plastid morphology. Journal of Microscopy 214, 124-137. doi:10.1111/j.0022-2720.2004.01317.x.
  4. Gray J.C. et al 2001. Stromules: mobile protrusions and interconnections between plastids. Plant Biology, 3, (3), 223-233. doi:10.1055/s-2001-15204
  5. Köhler R.H. et al 1997. Exchange of protein molecules through connections between higher plant plastids. Science 276 (5321): 2039–42. [1]
  6. Waters, Mark; Rupert G. Fray & Kevin A. Pyke 2004. Stromule formation is dependent upon plastid size, plastid differentiation status and the density of plastids within the cell. Plant Journal 39 (4): 655–67. [2]