Image provided by R. J. Cody Markelz, Andrew Leakey Lab
Research funded by the National Science Foundation
This image shows microscopic structures inside a leaf: chloroplasts in light blue, and mitochondria, which convert sugar into forms of usable energy, in a range of colors (yellow to brown) according to their size. Mitochondria react very quickly to changes in the cellular environment by clumping together or dispersing throughout the cell in response to changes in light, temperature, and rate of photosynthesis in the chloroplasts. Research to understand how mitochondria respond to climate change has implications for accurate prediction of future food supply and ecosystem function.