Monday, January 26, 2009
How did the chloroplast get its name?
source of image: http://gcse.wemew.org/data/Plant_cell.png
Years before the advent of powerful microscopes and other techniques for visualization of cells, simple microscopes only showed large cell organelles. One of the largest organelles is the chloroplast and microscopists simply used descriptive terms to explain what they saw.
Thus, chloroplast simply means “green particle” because that is how it appears under the microscope. In the same manner, leucoplast means “white particle” and vacuole is an "empty space or small cavity".