) within a plant cell containing the green pigment chlorophyll
. Chloroplasts occur in most cells of green plants that are exposed to light, often in large numbers. Typically, they are shaped like a flattened disc, with a double membrane enclosing the stroma, a gel-like matrix. Within the stroma are stacks of fluid-containing cavities, or vesicles, where photosynthesis
occurs, creating glucose
from carbon dioxide and water to be used in the plant's life processes. Sunlight is absorbed by chlorophyll, providing energy which is transferred to the glucose. The glucose may be converted to starch and stored. Starch can then be converted back to glucose to provide energy for the plant at a later stage.
It is thought that the chloroplasts were originally free-living cyanobacteria
which invaded larger, non-photosynthetic cells and developed a symbiotic relationship with them. Like mitochondria
, they contain a small amount of DNA and divide by fission. Chloroplasts are a type of plastid
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