A chromoplast is a pigmented plastid found in certain plant
cells. Chromoplasts that contain carotenoid pigments impart the red, orange, or yellow colors to various fruit (e.g., tomato fruits), roots (e.g., carrot roots), and petals.
Carotenoid-containing chromoplasts develop from leucoplasts or chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are themselves
a form of chromoplast, imparting a green color to plants because of the chlorophyll they contain. Algae are variously colored owing to the presence in them of chromoplasts containing
chlorophyll with other pigments including xanthophyll, carotene, fucoxanthin, phycoerythrin, and
phycocyanin. Chromoplasts are a type of chromatophore.
|A parenchyma cell
containing chromoplasts. Each red dot is a chromoplast that contains carotenoids. Image credit: David
Webb, University of Hawaii