—chlorophylloid, adj./klawr"euh fil, klohr"-/, n. Bot., Biochem.the green coloring matter of leaves and plants, essential to the production of carbohydrates by photosynthesis, and occurring in a bluish-black form, C55H72MgN4O5 (chlorophyll a), and a dark-green form, C55H70MgN4O6 (chlorophyll b).Also, chlorophyl.[1810-20; CHLORO-1 + -PHYLL]
* * *Found in almost all photosynthetic organisms, it consists of a central magnesium atom surrounded by a nitrogen-containing structure called a porphyrin ring, to which is attached a long carbon-hydrogen side chain, known as a phytol chain. In structure it is remarkably similar to hemoglobin. Chlorophyll uses energy that it absorbs from light to convert carbon dioxide to carbohydrates. In higher plants it is found in chloroplasts.
* * *▪ biologyany member of the most important class of pigments involved in photosynthesis (q.v.), the process by which light energy is converted to chemical energy through the synthesis of organic compounds. Chlorophyll is found in virtually all photosynthetic organisms, including green plants, prokaryotic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), and eukaryotic algae. It absorbs energy from light; this energy is then used to convert carbon dioxide to carbohydrates.Chlorophyll occurs in several distinct forms: chlorophylls a and b are the major types found in higher plants and green algae; chlorophylls c and d are found, often with a, in different algae; chlorophyll e is a rare type found in some golden algae; and bacterio-chlorophyll occurs in certain bacteria. In green plants chlorophyll occurs in membranous disklike units (thylakoids) in organelles called chloroplasts (chloroplast). The chlorophyll molecule consists of a central magnesium atom surrounded by a nitrogen-containing structure called a porphyrin ring; attached to the ring is a long carbon–hydrogen side chain, known as a phytol chain. Variations are due to minor modifications of certain side groups. Chlorophyll is remarkably similar in structure to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment found in the red blood cells of mammals and other vertebrates.
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