What Is the Energy-Converting Organelle Found in Plant and Algae Cells?

The energy-converting organelle found in plant and algae cells is called the chloroplast. Only some plants and algae have chloroplasts.

The chloroplast is the food producer in many plant and algae cells. It works by converting light into sugars that are carried throughout the plant, providing nutrients and energy. Each chloroplast contains chlorophyll molecules. The process of converting sunlight to food is called photosynthesis.

The chloroplasts are protected by inner and outer membranes. When sunlight hits the chloroplast and the chlorophyll, light is converted to sugars that travel throughout the plant. The plant then uses this energy to grow so the process continues.

A chloroplast is made of several different parts and contains its own DNA. It cannot be made by the plant cell and produces oxygen vital to all things on Earth. They are usually between four and six micrometers in diameter, far too small to be seen with the naked eye. They are present in every green part of a plant, from the stems, to the leaves, to the green parts of fruit.

Besides making sugars for the plant's survival, chloroplasts also make things like proteins, oils, scents and fats. They began as symbiotic bacteria that have evolved to be able to live on their own.