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Steffi Lewis

Steffi Lewis | Blog

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The Incredible Role of Chlorophyll in Making Leaves Green

Published: 08/06/2024 @ 13:47PM

Chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants, has fascinated scientists for a long time. Its discovery in the 20th century revolutionised our understanding of photosynthesis. It also illuminated the role of plants in sustaining life on Earth.

Why are leaves green?

Chlorophyll, green life, Captured by the sun's bright rays, Nature's alchemy

Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants that is essential for the process of photosynthesis. It absorbs light energy from the sun and converts it into chemical energy. Plants use this energy to produce glucose and oxygen. This incredible process allows plants to create their own food and release oxygen into the atmosphere. It makes life on Earth possible.

But why are leaves green?

The answer lies in the structure of chlorophyll and its role in photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is found in specialised structures within plant cells called chloroplasts. These chloroplasts contain a network of membranes and proteins. They work together to capture light energy and convert it into chemical energy.

The green colour of chlorophyll is due to its unique chemical structure. It contains a ring of atoms called a porphyrin ring, which is similar to the structure of haemoglobin in our blood. However, while haemoglobin contains iron chlorophyll contains magnesium at its core. This magnesium atom is what gives chlorophyll its green colour.

One of the key breakthroughs in understanding the role of chlorophyll in photosynthesis came in the 1930s. During this time, scientists Hans Fischer and Robert Robinson were able to isolate and determine the chemical structure of chlorophyll. This discovery paved the way for further research into the process of photosynthesis and the role of chlorophyll.

Another important discovery came in the 1960s. Scientists Melvin Calvin, Andrew Benson and James Bassham traced the path of carbon through the process of photosynthesis. This led to the development of the Calvin Cycle, a series of reactions that plants use to convert carbon dioxide into glucose. This groundbreaking research earned Calvin the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1961.

Further research into the structure and function of chlorophyll has revealed several different types, each with its unique chemical structure and role in photosynthesis. For example, chlorophyll a is found in all plants and is the primary pigment responsible for photosynthesis. Chlorophyll b is found in green algae and some plants. It helps capture light energy not absorbed by chlorophyll a.

In addition to its role in photosynthesis, chlorophyll has other benefits for plants. It helps protect plants from harmful UV radiation. It can also act as an antioxidant, protecting plants from damage caused by free radicals.

The discovery of chlorophyll and its role in photosynthesis has advanced our understanding of plant biology. It has also had a significant impact on agriculture and food production. By understanding how plants use light energy to produce food, scientists have developed more efficient farming techniques and improved crop yields.

The discovery of chlorophyll in the 20th century has been a major scientific breakthrough. It has revolutionised our understanding of photosynthesis and the role of plants in sustaining life on Earth. Its unique chemical structure and capacity to capture light energy make it an essential component of plant biology.

So the next time you see a green leaf remember the incredible role of chlorophyll in making it so.

Until next time ...

A legend in her own lunchtime

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Would you like to know more?

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#ChlorophyllRevolution #GreenPigment #Photosynthesis #PlantsSustainingLife #IncredibleChlorophyll

About me ...

I'm a 31-year veteran web developer, who published one of the first 1,000 websites in the entire world when I worked at The Open University way back in 1993. Since then I've been involved with projects big and small, funded and unfunded, corporate and commercial. I was part of the dot com boom and contracted in California in the mid-2000s.

On my return to the UK circa 2011, I started work on my digital marketing platform SLO Media, and have run that successfully for over a decade. During the pandemic, when we were all bored out of our skulls, I created YourPCM, a CRM designed exclusively for UK small business owners (sorry rest of the world), then built YourAI as my artificial intelligence playground (yay for the whole world!). Although it was only ever meant to be a new module for YourPCm, I made it available commercially when a number of my friends and networking buddies saw it and demanded access to this handy set of handy content creation tools.

And now we have sBlogIt! which is a more focused version of the blogging part of YourAI with enhancements up the wazoo and the ability to create and publish an entire blog post in just a few minutes using a low-cost token-based system.

If you want to know more about all that, you can visit sblogit.com and sign up for free. We'll even give you 25 tokens to get you started, so no excuses, ok?

My head is in The Cloud, my heart belongs to The Web, and my soul is filled with such beautiful code 💗

And so here we are ...

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© 2024 by Steffi Lewis

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