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Chloroplast

The chloroplast is the site of photosynthesis in photosynthesising organisms such as plants.

Chloroplasts contain a green pigment called chlorophyll that absorbs light.

Animal cells do not have chloroplasts!

Chloroplasts have a flattened disc shape (a bit like a round cheese). They are small and a cell may contain many of them.

To maximise light exposure, they orient themselves so that the flat side faces the light source. This maximises the surface area for light absorption.

Chloroplasts are around $$2-10 \, \mu \text{m}$$ in diameter.

Important! Plants still need mitochondria to convert food produced by chloroplasts into a usable energy source (ATP).

Plant cells containing chloroplasts (the small green discs).
Plant cells containing chloroplasts (the small green discs).

Like mitochondria, chloroplasts have a double membrane and reproduce independently of the cell. Similar to mitochondria, they are thought to derive from simple separate organisms.