Chloroplasts: Functions and Structure

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Chloroplasts are found in all green plants and algae. They are the food producers of plants. These are found in the guard cells located in the leaves of the plants. They contain a high concentration of chlorophyll that traps sunlight. This cell organelle is not present in animal cells. They have their DNA and can reproduce independently from the rest of the cell. They also produce amino acids and lipids required for the production of chloroplast membrane.

Functions of Chloroplast

  • The most important function of the chloroplast is to synthesize food by the process of photosynthesis.
  • Absorbs light energy and convert it into chemical energy.
  • Chloroplast has a structure called chlorophyll which functions by trapping the solar energy and used for the synthesis of food in all green plants.
  • Produces NADPH and molecular oxygen(O2) by photolysis of water.
  • Produces ATP – Adenosine triphosphate by the process of photosynthesis.
  • The carbon dioxide (CO2) obtained from the air is used to generate carbon and sugar during the Calvin Cycle or dark reaction of photosynthesis.

Chloroplast- structure

Prats of Chloroplasts

  1. Stroma
  2. Inner membrane
  3. Outer membrane
  4. Thylakoid membrane
  5. Intermembrane Space.

The purpose of the chloroplast is to make sugars that feed the cell’s machinery. Photosynthesis is the process of a plant taking energy from the Sun and creating sugars. When the energy from the Sun hits a chloroplast and the chlorophyll molecules, light energy is converted into the chemical energy found in compounds such as ATP and NADPH.

Chloroplasts are highly dynamic—they circulate and are moved around within plant cells, and occasionally pinch in two to reproduce. Their behavior is strongly influenced by environmental factors like light color and intensity. Chloroplasts, like mitochondria, contain their DNA, which is thought to be inherited from their ancestor—a photosynthetic cyanobacterium that was engulfed by an early eukaryotic cell. Chloroplasts cannot be made by the plant cell and must be inherited by each daughter cell during cell division.

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