Organelle Purpose: The site of photosynthesis in plants
Discovered in: 1837
Discovered by: German botanist Hugo von Mohl
19 Chloroplast Facts for Kids
Chloroplast is a plastid organelle found in certain plant and algae cells.
One of the main functions of chloroplasts is to conduct the photosynthesis process.
Chloroplast contains chlorophyll, which is used to capture radiant energy from sunlight.
Plants get their green color from the chlorophyll in chloroplasts.
The radiant energy captured by chlorophyll is what powers photosynthesis in a chloroplast.
The waste byproduct of the photosynthesis process is oxygen, the most important element to all living organisms.
A plant cells that contains chloroplast is a chlorenchyma cell.
One chlorenchyma cell can have between 1 and 100 chloroplasts.
In plants, chloroplasts are highly concentrated in the leaves.
The shape of a chloroplast can vary among plant and algae species.
Terrestrial plants typically have a lens-shape chloroplast.
Algae can have a wide range of chloroplast shapes.
The diameter of a chloroplast varies between 0.001 and 0.01 millimeter.
The thickness of a chloroplast varies between 0.001 and 0.003 millimeter.
Chloroplast has its own DNA called plastome, which can be abbreviated as cpDNA or ctDNA.
It’s estimated that almost all chloroplasts can be traced back to a single endosymbiotic event that happened between one and two billion years ago. Where a eukaryote either ate or was infected by a cyanobacterium. The mutual benefit between the eukaryote and the cyanobacterium paved the evolutionary path for plants as we know them today.
In 1873, German botanist Hugo von Mohl was the first person to describe a chloroplast.
In 1884, Polish-German botanist Eduard Strasburger coined the term chloroplast.
The term chloroplast comes from two Greek words, chloros and plastes. Chloros in Greek means “green”, while plastes in Greek means “one who forms”.