When it comes to plant cells, there is no question that chloroplasts play a vital role. When you study biology, it is vital to learn as much about chloroplasts as you possibly can. The more you learn about this concept, the easier it will be to appreciate the countless ways in which chloroplast connects to the world of biology.
1. They Are The Food Producers Of The Cell
Chloroplasts function as the food producers of cells. These organelles can only be found within plant cells. Some protists feature this organelle, which would include things like algae. One of the most important things to keep in mind with chloroplasts is that they are not to be found within animal cells.
2. Converting Light Energy
Chloroplasts are responsible for converting light energy from the sun into sugars which can be utilized by the cells. Of course, this entire process refers to something that everyone understands to be photosynthesis. This process is intensely dependent upon those tiny greenish chlorophyll molecules that exist within all chloroplasts.
3. They Release Oxygen
The oxygen that is released through the chloroplast is the same oxygen that you breathe during your life. If you keep in mind that plants are the producers of the world, then you can begin to appreciate the vast importance of chloroplasts. Photosynthesis involves plants creating sugars while releasing oxygen, which we all need to breathe. Without chloroplast, the process of photosynthesis would quite frankly not be possible in the least.
4. The Membranes
The structure of chloroplasts is well worth studying in greater detail. There are two membranes that are responsible for not only containing the inner portions of chloroplasts, but they are also responsible for protecting those inner portions, as well. Not surprisingly, these membranes are known as the inner membrane and outer membrane. The inner membranes are responsible for surround both the stroma and the grana. A single thylakoid stack is known as a granum.
5. Why Are Chloroplasts Green?
One of the most interesting elements to chloroplasts concerns their color. Why are they green? The answer to this point may surprise you. The smallish, pill-shaped organelle is green because it is filled with green pigments. These green pigments can also go by the chemical name of chlorophyll, which we already mentioned in one of the entries above. This pigment also works to capture energy that comes from our sun, which is then later used in the essential production process to create food.