1.6 Chloroplasts

Chloroplasts are large organelles and their function is the formation and storage of carbohydrates from photosynthesis. The chloroplast is bounded by a double membrane.

The matrix of the chloroplast is known as the stroma. Also inside the chloroplast are separate internal membranes that form lamellae or rounded tongue-like thylakoids within the enclosing double membrane. These tongue-like or disk-like thylakoid membranes may be stacked in layers and these are referred to as grana.  Grana are joined to each other by other membranes.

Figure 1.14. Chloroplasts in the leaf cell of a moss, Plagiomnium affine.
Figure 1.14. Chloroplasts in the leaf cell of a moss, Plagiomnium affine.

 

Figure 1.15. Internal membrane structure of a chloroplast within a chloroplast
Figure 1.15. Internal membrane structure of a chloroplast within a chloroplast.

There are a range of other organelles which are similar to chloroplasts that are used for storage and pigmentation.

Figure 1.16. Other plastids in a plant cell.
Figure 1.16. Other plastids in a plant cell. Chromoplasts contain colour pigments, whereas other plastids are used for storage.

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