Chloroplasts - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 5 pages of information about Chloroplasts.
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The chloroplast is a membrane-bound organelle within a cell that conducts photosynthesis. From the molecular perspective, the chloroplast is very large and contains millions of protein molecules along with vast sheets of membranes. If we imagine an average-sized enzyme molecule to be the size of an automobile, a chloroplast in a plant leaf cell would be about 6 kilometers on its long axis and about 2 kilometers on its short axis. The approximately cube-shaped plant cell, 15 to 20 kilometers per side, would contain fifty to one hundred of these compartments.

Structure of Chloroplasts

The chloroplast is enclosed by two membranes, designated the outer and inner membranes of the chloroplast envelope. About one-half the volume within the chloroplast is occupied by stacks of fifty to one hundred flattened sacs called thylakoids, from the Greek word meaning "like an empty pouch." The thylakoid membrane surrounds the lumen or interior space and is the...

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This section contains 1,416 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Chloroplasts Encyclopedia Article
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Chloroplasts from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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