Why Do Chloroplasts Move in Elodea?

Why Do Chloroplasts Move in Elodea
••• Videologia/iStock/GettyImages

Definition

Elodea is a water plant native to Canada, often used in aquariums. It is also often used in biology labs on cell structure because it forms nice, large cells that are easily observed under the microscope. Chloroplasts are the organelles in a plant cell that contain the chlorophyll plants use to convert light into sugars.

Movement of Chloroplasts

Chloroplasts do move in a cell. Observing chloroplasts in movement in an elodea cell is like watching a busy, bustling mass of pedestrians from a building high above. They jostle and slide and scoot around the cell, often sticking near the edges of the cell but sometimes seeming to fill the cell entirely with constant motion. The motion is common to the interior of cells and is called cyclonic or cytoplasmic streaming. This current in motion occurs in the contained liquids of the cell. The actual cause of the motion isn't yet clear, but it does alter with heat and light and is changed by increases and decreases in fluid content.

More About Chloroplast Motion

Chloroplasts in plants have been found to display another form of motion, called chloroplast avoidance motion. It appears to be a response to light intensity. In extreme light exposure, the chloroplasts line up like the blades of a Venetian blind to let the light pass through. On dim, dark days, they flip their alignment, like the Venetian blind closing, to catch what light is present. This appears to be a method of adjusting the amount of damage to the plant by sunlight.

Related Articles

How Does a DP Cell Work?
The Definition of a Convection Cell
Living Cell Characteristics
How to Observe Human Cheek Cells Under a Light Microscope
How to Make Cytoplasm for a Cell Project
How to Explain the Process of Condensation
How to Demonstrate an Earthquake Using JELL-O
How to Calibrate a Calorimeter
How to Decrease Digits in Excel
Fun Science Experiments on Cells
What Does a Weather Map Show?
Why Does Condensation Form on a Drinking Glass?
The Movement of the Sun & Moon in the Sky
Instruments Used for Measuring Air Pressure
Where Is Starch Stored in Plant Cells?
What Is the Difference Between Umbra and Penumbra?
How to Build a Water Clock
10 Types of Physical Change
How Does a Transducer Work?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!