Where is Chlorophyll Found in Plant Cells?

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Chlorophyll found in plant cells gives plants their green coloration.
Chlorophyll found in plant cells gives plants their green coloration. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Plants differ from most organisms on Earth in that they can produce their own food by synthesizing sugar from water and carbon dioxide using energy from the sun. Chlorophyll, found in a plant’s cells, helps accomplish this process.

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Features

You can find chlorophyll inside cellular structures called chloroplasts, the tiny pill-shaped organelles responsible for photosynthesis. All green parts of the plant contain chloroplasts. Within the chloroplast, stacks of round structures called thylakoids contain the chlorophyll. Within these thylakoids, the process of photosynthesis begins.

Function

Photosynthesis begins with light absorption. Chlorophyll absorbs all colors of light except for green -- plants appear green because chlorophyll reflects back the green wavelengths that strike it. This light energizes electrons inside the chlorophyll, giving the plant energy to power sugar synthesis.

Fun Fact

Plants contain vast numbers of chloroplasts and, therefore, large amounts of chlorophyll as well. One square millimeter of plant tissue can contain 500,000 chloroplasts, according to Florida State University's Molecular Expressions website. The plant parts primarily responsible for photosynthesis, such as leaves, contain more chloroplasts and chlorophyll.

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