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CHLOROPLAST Rosemarie B.

Luz

➞Chloroplasts are disk-shaped cells with a diameter of about 10 micrometers and a thickness of 1 micrometer. This
shape makes them more efficient in absorbing light of varying wavelengths.
➞In addition to the synthesis of food, chloroplasts are also the site of production of plant fats and oils.
➞P680 and P700 are the two chlorophyll binding proteins present in the thylakoids of the chloroplast.
➞The chloroplast is often termed as the 'energy factory' of the plant.
➞There are around 50-60 chloroplasts in a single photosynthetic cell.
➞Chloroplasts contain chlorophyll which is essential for photosynthesis. Due to the presence of chlorophyll,
chloroplasts are green.

STRUCTURE and FUNCTION of CHLOROPLAST

 Thylakoids
In addition to the two membranes that form the envelope, chloroplasts contain a third internal membrane system called
thylakoid membrane. Thylakoids are the internal, membrane-bound compartments formed by such thylakoid
membranes. The internal portion of the thylakoid is called the thylakoid lumen, and contains plastocyanins and other
molecules required for the transport of electrons.
 Grana (GRANUM)
Some of the thylakoids are arranged in the form of discs stacked one above the other. These stacks are termed grana,
and are connected to each other through inter grana thylakoids and stroma thylakoids.
 STROMA
is especially rich in proteins, and contains several enzymes necessary for vital cellular processes. The chloroplast DNA is
also present in the stroma along with ribosomes and other molecules required for protein synthesis. Starch synthesized
through photosynthesis is stored in the stroma in the form of granules.
 ENVELOPE
The chloroplast envelope is double-membrane structure comprising an outer and an inner membrane. Each of these
membranes is a phospholipid bilayer, and is 6 - 8 nm thick. A 10 - 20 nm thick space present between the two
membranes is known as intermembrane space.
The space inside the thylakoid discs is called the LUMEN
The stacks of thylakoid sacs are connected by STROMA LAMELLAE. The lamellae act like the skeleton of the chloroplast,
keeping all of the sacs a safe distance from each other and maximizing the efficiency of the organelle

PHOTOSYSTEM I and PHOTOSYSTEM II

Thylakoids of grana are the sites for light reactions of photosynthesis. The thylakoid membrane contains light harvesting
complexes called photosystem I (PS I) and photosystem II (PS II). These complexes contain chlorophyll and other
photosynthetic pigments which are the light-absorbing entities. The light reactions of photosynthesis involve the
photolysis of water molecules and the generation of NADPH2 and ATP molecules.

Photolysis of water occurs in PS II, and it involves the dissociation of two water molecules to oxygen, protons and
electrons by utilizing the energy from photons. The protons, thus generated, participate in ATP synthesis whereas the
electrons are transported to PS I through a chain of molecules collectively termed electron transport system (ETS).
During this transport, electrons lose energy. In PS I, the electrons are again excited by harnessing the energy from
photons, and the reduction of NADP to NADPH2 is achieved by utilizing electrons and protons.

Under normal conditions, electrons flow from PS II through cytochrome bf to PSI. Photosystem I (PSI) optimally absorbs
photons of wavelength of 700 nm. It is responsible for providing high energy electrons with which to reduce NADP+ to
produce NADPH to be used in the Calvin cycle.