Function of the Chloroplast

Chloroplasts are organelles that are found in plant cells and other eukaryotic organisms that can undergo photosynthesis or produce their own food. Chloroplast function as the food producers of the cell and every green plant in the planet is working to convert the sun’s energy into sugars.

Plants are the basis of all the life on Earth. They are mainly responsible in creating sugars; the byproduct of that process is the oxygen that sustains life on Earth and that process occurs in the chloroplast. Although chloroplasts look like mitochondria at first glance, mitochondria actually work in the opposite direction as they are responsible in breaking down the nutrients and sugars that the cell receives and convert that into energy.

Chloroplast Structure

Just like mitochondria, the chloroplast structure composes of a permeable outer membrane, a less permeable inner membrane, an intermembrane space, and stroma, which is the inner section. The chloroplast is larger than the mitochondria due to the fact that it needs to be larger in size as its membranes are not folded into cristae. Its inner membrane is also not intended for the electron transport chain but contains the light absorbing system; thylakoids, which is the ATP synthetase in a third membrane that forms a series of flattened discs; and the electron transport chain.

The inside area in the chloroplast, also known as stroma, is the place wherein the reaction occurs and sugars or starches are created. A single stack of thylakoid is called a granum and the thylakoids have molecules of chlorophyll on their surface. With the use of sunlight chlorophyll creates sugars. The stromal lamellae, responsible in connecting the stacks of sacs, acts like the skeleton of the chloroplast and keeps all of the sacs at a safe distance from each other; and maximizing the efficiency of the organelle.

©2005-2015 Plant Biology Advice - Dean Ravenscroft