Wondering Why?

Why is Chlorophyll Important?

Why is Chlorophyll Important?

Plants consist of chlorophyll molecule which is primarily responsible for them to appear green. Plants are called as autotrophs which mean that they can prepare their own food material. Plants survive by absorbing sunlight and converting carbon-di-oxide and water into glucose and oxygen. The oxygen released by the plants through the process of photosynthesis is very important for the survival of human beings and other animals. Plants need sunlight to use as fuel for the synthesis of food materials. Hence this process of glucose synthesis is called as photosynthesis.

The glucose that is synthesized through the photosynthetic process helps in the growth of the plant. Chlorophyll is an important molecule in the plants which act as photoreceptor. It effectively absorbs the sunlight and transfers it to the electron transporting molecules and in turn reduces the ADP and NADP molecules into energy molecules.

Chlorophyll consists of chlorophyll-a and chlorophyll-b. This molecule exists in the plant along with proteins. Chlorophyll exists as photosystem-I and photosystem-II based on the wavelength of light that each of them is able to absorb. The wavelengths that are absorbed by these photosystems are 700nm and 680nm. Chlorophyll-c is also found in some plant forms.

Chlorophyll molecules are present on the thylakoid membranes. Thylakoids are structures which gather to form grana that are observed to be present inside the chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are organelles in the plant cell which harbors the chlorophyll molecules. The photosynthetic light reaction takes place on the thylakoid membrane while the dark reaction occurs in the Stroma of the chloroplast.

Chlorophyll molecules ‘a’ and ‘b’ differ from each other in their structures. Chlorophyll-a has methyl group in the side chain while the other molecule has aldehyde group in the side chain. They act as photoreceptors as they possess single and double alternating bonds which are useful for delocalization of electrons. This delocalization of electrons by the chlorophyll molecule offers it a stable structure. Chlorophyll molecule has strong absorbing capacity in the visible spectrum and to absorb energy from sunlight.

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