What are plastids?

Food is an important requirement not only for human beings but even for plants and animals. All living organisms require food to survive and therefore, storage of food is also very important. Plastids are special structures inside the plant cell that helps in storing food for the plants.

Plastids are also found in different algae, and they work as food cells that can store food that can be provided to the plants at a later stage. Plastids have pigments that are utilized during the photosynthesis process. There are different kinds of plastids present in the plants and therefore, it is easy to differentiate between them. However, in most cases plastids are mainly responsible for photosynthesis through which plants and algae get their food. Today, many scientists and researchers are interested in studying more about plastids because they can be used in pharmaceuticals to produce proteins.

There are various types of plastids like chloroplasts, chromoplasts, gerontoplasts, leucoplasts, amyloplasts, elaioplasts, and proteinoplasts that are present inside the food cell of the plant. However, chloroplasts are the most common plastids that we know about. Chloroplasts contain chlorophyll that absorbs light and gives that natural green color to the plant. Chlorophyll is then used to capture energy from the sunlight. Plants can have a large number of plastids in their cytoplasm that help them prepare their food from the sunlight that they receive.

However, inside the plant cell, plastids are separately located from the other cells because they also have protein DNA complexes that are stored in different membrane layers internally. It is being researched that plastids do have the capability of copying the plant genes. However, plastids are still dependent on the rest of the cell as they are a part of the nucleus.

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