Chloroplast

The organelle in which photosynthesis occurs (in the leaves and green stems of plants, for example) is called the chloroplast. Chloroplasts are relatively large organelles, containing a watery, protein-rich fluid called stroma. The stroma contains many small structures composed of membranes that resemble stacks of coins. Each stack is a granum (the plural form is grana). Each membrane in the stack is a thylakoid. Within the thylakoid membranes of the granum, many of the reactions of photosynthesis take place. The thylakoids are somewhat similar to the cristae of mitochondria (see Chapter 6).