What are Thylakoid membranes?

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Researchers at the University of Liège, Belgium have identified thylakoid microstructures in fossil cells that are 1.75 billion years old.

About Thylakoid membranes

  • Thylakoids are little pouches located in the chloroplasts of plants.
  • They store chlorophyll, the substance in plant that reacts to sunlight and triggers photosynthesis.
  • These membranes are dense, mostly galactolipid, protein-containing bilayers in which photosynthesis occurs in photosynthetic organisms.
  • They are found in ancient, light-sensitive bacteria called cyanobacteria.
  • The cyanobacteria multiplied in the oceans billions of years ago, and are believed to be responsible for the vast stores of oxygen that are found in the atmosphere and thus, a precursor to life.
  • It is now believed that thylakoid membranes in cyanobacteria were what made them capable of using sunlight to create energy and release oxygen.

Key facts about Cyanobacteria

  • These are also called blue-green algae, are microscopic organisms found naturally in all types of water.
  • These single-celled organisms live in fresh, brackish (combined salt and fresh water), and marine water.
  • These organisms use sunlight to make their own food.
  • In warm, nutrient-rich (high in phosphorus and nitrogen) environments, cyanobacteria can multiply quickly, creating blooms that spread across the water’s surface.
  • Cyanobacteria blooms can form in warm, slow-moving waters that are rich in nutrients from sources such as fertilizer runoff or septic tank overflows.
  • It needs nutrients to survive. The blooms can form at any time, but most often form in late summer or early fall.

Q1) What is chloroplast?

A chloroplast is an organelle within the cells of plants and certain algae that is the site of photosynthesis, which is the process by which energy from the Sun is converted into chemical energy for growth.

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