What is the role of the thylakoids in the process of photosynthesis?

1 Answer
Sep 13, 2017

The thylakoids are the site of the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis.


The thylakoids themselves contain the chlorophyll, but the thylakoid membrane is where the light reactions take place.

These reactions include light driven water oxidation and oxygen evolution, the pumping of protons across the thylakoid membranes coupled with the electron transport chain of the Photosystems and cytochrome complex and ATP synthesis by the ATP synthatase utilising the generated proton gradient.

A major function of the thylakoid membrane and its integrated photosystems is the establishment of the chemiosmotic potential. The carriers of the electron transport chain use some of the electron's energy to actively transport protons from the stroma to the lumen. During photosynthesis the lumen becomes acidic. This represents a 10,000 fold concentration gradient for protons across the thylakoid membrane.