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Present in all living plants and a protozoan
named Euglena as well
Plastids are discoid or spherical
Contain multiple copies of DNA & 70S type

Historical aspects:Described by Grew and Leeuwenhoek.

Term was coined by Schimper in 1885

And he also classified the plastids
Detailed cytological studies were carried out
by Schimper, Schmitz & Meyer (1884-85)

Wilstatter & Stoll (1918) isolated Chl a and Chl b

Emerson and Arnold (1932) based on flashing

light expt showed the existence of light & dark
Ruben & Kamen (1941) demonstrated by the
use of O18 isotopic studies that O2 liberated
comes from water.

Types of Plastids:1. Leucoplasts:- colourless plastids found in

the germ cells and embryonic cells.
Also found in the meristematic regions of plant
not receiving light
True leucoplasts occur in fully developed
plant cells
True leucoplasts do not contain thylakoids
and ribosomes

Leucoplasts store food material as carbohydrates

and hence are classified as follows:A. Amyloplasts:-Synthesize & store starch;the
outer membrane of amyloplasts contain one to
eight starch granules; in potatoes, starch granule
is arranged in concentric rings & grow as big as
an animal cell.
B. Elaioplasts:-Store lipids (oils) in the seeds of
monocots & dicots. They also include sterol-rich

C. Proteinoplasts:- Occur in protein

storing seeds & also contain few thylakoids
2. Chromoplasts:- Round, ellipsoidal or
needle- shaped and the carotenoids they
contain are in the form of droplets or crysta
lline structure.
Their major function is to attract insects for
Pollination in flowers.
Red tomatoes have Lycopene:- a chromoplast

Chromoplast of blue-greens contain Phycocyanin,

Phycoerythrin, chlorophyll a and carotenoids
Chromoplasts are of following 2 types:a. Phaeoplast:-contains dark brown pigment fucoxanthin,
which has light absorbing property. Examples are Phaeophycea, daitoms and Dinoflagellates
b. Rhodoplast:-contains the pigment phycoerythrin,
Examples are rhodophyceae.
3. Chloroplast:Most widely occurring chromoplast of the plants
Presence of chl a and b along with DNA & RNA in

A/c to Schimper, different kinds of plastids can

get transformed into one another as follows:-




Development of Plastids:-

All plastids develop from Proplastids (available

in meristematic cells)
Proplastids develop into types of plastid as
per requirement of the cell type
Light dependent action of phytochrome is
responsible for development of chloroplasts

Phytochrome:- a protein with 1.24kDa molecular wt

This protein contains one pigment which can exist in

two interconvertible forms:- an inactive form, produced
by far-redlight and active form, produced by the red
Mediate light-mediated responses including plastid
differentiation, chloroplast rotation, seed germination

Chloroplasts:- Biological significance:

Most common plastids of green plants
Important b/o photosynthetic activities
Homogeneously distributed in cells of plants
In some algae, distributed around the nucleus
or just beneath the plasma membrane
Chloroplasts are motile organelles showing
passive and active movements
Higher chloroplasts are bi-convex or planoconvex, varying in shape in different cells, e.g.,
Spheroid, discoid, spiral etc.

In size, chloroplasts vary from 2 to 3m in

thickness & 5 to 10 m in diameter.
Plants grown in shade have larger chloroplasts
than the ones growing in the sun.
No (20 to 40) varies from cell to cell, however,
Remains constant in one type of cell.

Comparison with mitochondria:1. Less permeable outer membrane, similar to mito.

2. Inner membrane with less permeability & is having
A carier or transport protein
3.The inner membrane surrounds a large space
called stroma
4.Inner membrane does not contain folds into cristae
5. No electron trasposrt chain in the inner membrane
6.The ETS and PSI & PSII are located in specialized
Membrane bound structures called Thylakoids.

Ultrastructure of chloroplasts:-

1. Envelope:- Double unit membrane, presence

of carotenoids but lack of chlorophylls, contain
1 to 2% of total proteins of the chloroplast
2. Stroma:- It is the gel-fluid phase which surround
the grana of the thylakoids; contains 50% of the
Proteins of the chloroplast; contains ribosome &
DNA molecules; site for CO2 fixation, synthesis of
Sugars, starch, fatty acids & some proteins.

3. Thylakoids:-

Consists of flattened and closed vesicles arranged

As membranous network; the outer surface of the
Thylakoid is in contact with the stroma & the inner
Surface encloses an intrathylakoidal space.
Thylakoids are stacked like pile of coins forming
GRANA or may be unstacked called stromal
Thylakoids form a system of anastomosing tubules
That are joined to the grana thylakoids

Molecular Organization of the thylakoids:Fluid mosaic model explains the property of

The membrane part of the thylakoids
Lipid represent about 50% of the thylakoid
Membrane; There are 30-50 polypeptides
Which form part of PSI, PSII, cytochrome b/f,
ATP synthatase & Light Harvesting Complex
Structure of chloroplast gets modified due to
Mutation in the nuclear gene.

Functions of the chloroplast:Photosynthesis:- consists of Light reaction

and Dark reaction. ATP and NADPH are
generated during Light reaction, which is
utilized in the Dark reaction for synthesis of
Of the process of photosynthesis entirely, it
Is the Electron Transport process, which is
Key to generation of reducing powers.

ETS occurring in photosynthesis:Referred to Book, Page No. 231

Chloroplast as semi-autonomous
organelle:1. Own DNA encoding majority of the
enzymes functional in chloroplast
2. Possesses Ribosome (70S type) and
23s and 16s rRNA; presence of
polyribosomes also;
3. Occurrence of chloroplast mRNA, rRNA
& tRNA. Complete process of protein
synthesis occurring in the chloroplast

Biogenesis of chloroplast:Proplastid develops into chloroplast

As follows:Light mediated transformation of
Inner membrane into discs through
Vesicles followed by formation of
Thylakoids and grana.
Grana unite with thylakoids later.
In the absence of Light, etiolation takes
Place leading to disorganization of