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Posted 2 months ago

Chlorophyll can be extracted from leaves with chloroform. This organic extract is a dark green solution and will display a red glow if an intense beam of visible light is directed at the solution. However, no glow is observed for isolated chloroplasts even though the chlorophyll in chloroplasts is also surrounded by an organic medium. Explain.
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Answer from Sia
Posted 2 months ago
The lack of a red glow in isolated chloroplasts is due to the absence of the specific environment that is required for chlorophyll to fluoresce, which is present in the organic extract but not in the isolated chloroplasts.
Fluorescence of chlorophyll : The red glow observed when chlorophyll is exposed to an intense beam of visible light is due to fluorescence, a process where chlorophyll molecules absorb light and then emit light at a longer wavelength
Organic extract environment : In an organic extract, chlorophyll is dissolved in a solvent like chloroform, which may alter its environment sufficiently to allow fluorescence to be observed
Isolated chloroplast environment : In isolated chloroplasts, the chlorophyll is still within the thylakoid membranes and surrounded by other cellular components, which may quench the fluorescence or alter the conditions such that the red glow is not observed
Key Concept
Fluorescence of chlorophyll
Chlorophyll can fluoresce and emit a red glow under certain conditions, but this property can be affected by the immediate environment of the chlorophyll molecules. In isolated chloroplasts, the natural cellular environment may inhibit fluorescence, which is why no red glow is observed.

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