Chloroplasts, Biology


  • Schimper (1883) coined the term chloroplastid for green plastids.
  • Mayer called them Autoplast. Chloroplast name proposed by Erera.
  • Green plastids with chlorophylls and other photosynthetic pigments.
  • Shape of chloroplasts vary in different plants.

Discoidal or oval    -           Higher plants

Girdle shaped        -           Ulothrix

Cup shaped           -           Chlamydomonas

Reticulate              -           Oedogonium

Spiral    -                             Spirogyra

Stellate                  -           Zygnema

  • Largest cell organelle in plants and second largest structure in plant.
  • Double unit membranous cell organelles.
  • Each chloroplast has two parts -

(i) Grana - Made up of Granum lamellae arranged in the form of stacks of coins. Each granum lamella is surrounded by well-defined membrane called Thylakoid (Thylakoid discovered by Menke). Each granum lamella, granular structures called Quantasomes are present. Quantasomes are photosynthetic units. (Quantasomes discovered by Park, Pon and Biggins) Each qunatasome has 230 chlorophyll molecules. Each chlorophyll molecule has two parts - head and tail. Head part is responsible for green colour which is controlled by Mg++. Due to presence of chlorophyll in granum lamellae, the light reaction of photosynthesis takes place in the granum. Lamellae which connects grana are called stroma thylakoids or fret channels (Weier 1966).


(ii) Stroma - The non pigmented enzymatic part of chloroplast is called stroma. It is present in form of matrix. Due to presence of enzymes in stroma, dark reactions of photosynthesis take place here. Stroma contains osmophilic droplets called Plastoglobuli. These store lipids. Stoma of chloroplast contains proteins, phospholipids, nucleic acids, ribosome and fewer amounts of enzymes. Ris and Plaut, Ruthe sager discovered DNA in chloroplast, which is called ctDNA or plastidial DNA. Genetic system of chloroplast is called Plastidome. Due to presence of DNA, RNA and ribosomes chloroplast is called semiautonomous unit like mitochondria having a complete protein synthesis apparatus in stroma.

Posted Date: 10/5/2012 7:31:35 AM | Location : United States

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