Q:

What does chloroplast do in a plant cell?

A:

Quick Answer

In plant cells, chloroplasts perform photosynthesis, a process that converts light energy from the sun into chemical energy in the form of glucose. Plants can later use this stored chemical energy to carry out activities integral to life, such as growth and reproduction.

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What does chloroplast do in a plant cell?
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Full Answer

Chloroplasts are primarily found in the cells that make up a plant's leaves, organs that are specialized to capture light. The process of photosynthesis performed within the chloroplasts uses water, light and carbon dioxide, and it gives off glucose and oxygen. Photosynthesis is divided into light and dark reactions. The light reactions use water and light to synthesize ATP and NADPH; the dark reactions use the energy stored in that ATP along with carbon dioxide and NADPH to produce glucose, ADP, and NADP+. ADP and NADP+ are recycled for use in the light reactions, and the process continually repeats itself.

Chloroplasts, despite the integral nature of their function, are likely unrelated to the plant cells in which they reside. Chloroplasts, like mitochondria, have their own DNA, and they divide independently of the plant cell cycle. Also, a cell is unable to replenish its chloroplasts when they are removed. Evidence like this has led scientists to develop endosymbiotic theory. Endosymbiotic theory posits that chloroplasts and other key organelles originated separately from their host cells, and at some point in history, a single-celled organism engulfed a chloroplast, forming an enduring symbiotic relationship that persists pervasively today.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of the chloroplast?

    A:

    Chloroplasts are organelles found in plant cells that produce food and energy for the cell. They are the main site of photosynthesis in plant cells and help convert energy from the sun into sugars for the plant.

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  • Q:

    Where does the energy for photosynthesis originate?

    A:

    The energy required for photosynthesis comes from the sun as light energy; plants transform this light energy into chemical energy, or sugars. Plants perform this energy conversion using light, water, carbon dioxide and a green substance called chlorophyll. Photosynthesis takes place in a plant's leaves.

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  • Q:

    What is the primary function of a mesophyll cell in a plant leaf?

    A:

    The mesophyll cells in a plant leaf play a vital role in photosynthesis by enabling the gas exchange portion of the process, and through the actions of their specialized chlorophyll-containing organelles, called chloroplasts, in which the primary photosynthetic reactions take place. Because they are surrounded by intercellular air pockets, the mesophyll cells are able to perform a gas exchange when the stomatal pores in the leaf's epidermis open. The Greek term "mesophyll" means "middle leaf," and it reflects the mesophyll cells' location between the leaf's thinner and much stiffer upper and lower epidermal layers.

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  • Q:

    What is the process of photosynthesis?

    A:

    Photosynthesis is the process by which plants turn light energy into chemical energy. Plants also need carbon dioxide and water along with the light to complete the process.

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