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Difference Between Chloroplast And Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is an important molecule for plants that helps them take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Chloroplasts are organelles found in plant cells, and they contain chlorophyll too. They also use light to make food for the plant. Plants can’t survive without either one of these molecules, but there’s a key difference between the two. In this article, we will explore what is chlorophyll, what is chloroplast, and the difference between chlorophyll and chloroplast. 


Definition Of Chlorophyll

Green plants make their own food through the process known as photosynthesis. This process uses a pigment known as chlorophyll. The pigment is a molecule that has the ability to absorb light at various wavelengths based on colour. While there are various pigments, chlorophyll is distinctive in its ability to allow plants to absorb the energy to build tissues.

Chlorophyll is situated in chloroplasts. These are small structures within the plant’s cells where photosynthesis occurs. The main job of chlorophyll in plants is to absorb light through sunlight. The light absorbed is transferred in two forms of energy-storing molecules. 

During the process of photosynthesis, plants use the gathered energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose. Along with glucose, plants use nutrients derived from soil to develop parts like leaves. The green colour of the plants is given by chlorophyll as it does not absorb the green wavelengths of white light.

Structure of Chlorophyll

  • The molecule includes a central metal core enclosed by a nitrogen structure, creating a porphyrin ring.
  • Chlorophyll is defined by the presence of four rings resembling pyrrole and one additional ring.
  • A series of the side chain is attached to the ring structure.
  •  There are different types of chlorophyll that vary in their chemical structures.
  • The molecular formula of Chlorophyll in C55H72MgN4O5.


Definition Of Chloroplast

Chloroplast is defined as an organelle that encompasses the photosynthetic pigment, chlorophyll which collects sunlight and converts it to energy. It is found in all green plants as well as algae. Chloroplasts are known as plants’ food producers. They are situated in the guard cells in the leaves. And contain a high amount of chlorophyll. Chloroplast contains its own DNA and can independently reproduce. Additionally, it also develops lipids and amino acids needed to create the membrane of the chloroplast.

Structure of Chloroplast

All higher plants contain chloroplast. It is biconvex or oval in shape and located within the mesophyll of the plant cell. Its size generally varies between 1 and 3 µm and 4 and 6 µm in thickness. Chloroplast is defined as a double-membrane organelle that contains inner, outer, and intermembrane space. Moreover, there are two regions within a chloroplast that include:

  • Grana: It includes disc-shaped structures called thylakoids. This is the region where you will find chlorophyll pigments and are reckoned as the functional unit.
  •  Stroma: It is a homogenous matrix encompassing Grana. Stroma is where all the organelles are stored. It also includes different substances like ribosomes, DNA, enzymes, etc.

What Is The Difference Between Chlorophyll And Chloroplast

The main difference between chloroplast and chlorophyll is that one contributes to the ability of a plant or algal organism to make its food while the other is responsible for the process of photosynthesis.

Basis Chlorophyll Chloroplast
Definition  A pigment that offers plants green color A membrane or an organelle that is found in plant cell
Segment of  Chloroplast  Plant cell
Types  Five types including a, b, c, d, and f There is no type 
Role  Associated with the process of photosynthesis The membrane is a part of photosynthesis
DNA Does not contain DNA Contain DNA called cpDNA
Pigments  Green pigments
Carotenoid, which has red and yellow pigment
No pigment
Location  Algae, all plants, and cyanobacteria Algae and all plants

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

What is the importance of chlorophyll?

Chlorophyll is the main pigment in plants and algae that carries out photosynthesis. Chlorophyll absorbs light energy and uses it to create sugar molecules.

Why are chloroplasts green?

Chloroplast is organelles with green pigment. The chlorophyll and the chloroplasts in a cell of a plant or algal organism can be mixed up, so they often give plants their green color.

Where is chloroplast found?

Chloroplast is found inside plant and algae cells.

Where is photosynthesis carried out?

Photosynthesis occurs outside of the cell in chloroplasts. The process takes place on the surface of a leaf, where chlorophyll absorbs light energy from sunlight to produce food for plants or algal organisms (a type of phototroph).

How does chlorophyll function in photosynthesis?

Chlorophyll is a molecule with green color that absorbs the energy from light to produce food and oxygen, which are used by all living things on Earth. Photosynthesis takes place mostly outside of a cell (in organelles called “chloroplasts”), where chlorophyll absorbs light energy from sunlight to produce food for plants or algal organisms.

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