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Cutaway illustration of a plant chloroplast

Cutaway illustration of a plant chloroplast

Cutaway illustration of a plant chloroplast, the unit within the leaf which manufactures the plant's food supply - starch - during photosynthesis. Contained within a double unit membrane are sheet- like lamellae (also called thylakoids) that support the the granal stacks, represented here as stacks of coins. The grana contain the photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls) which are active in the conversion of the sun's energy into chemical energy. The chloroplast's internal structure is adapted to maximise the amount of light reaching the chlorophyll pigments.
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42-46196508
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42-46196508
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© Francis Leroy/ /Science Photo Library/Corbis
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