Differences Between Chlorophyll a and Chlorophyll b

An Overview

The leaves are green in colour mainly because of the green colour pigments present within the plant cell called the chlorophyll. This pigment is used by all vascular plants to convert light energy into chemical energy via photosynthesis.

Chlorophyll pigments are also involved in the photosynthesis process by absorbing sunlight required for the production of carbohydrates in the plants. It is found in the thylakoid membranes in the chloroplasts – the green coloured plastid present in the plant cells.

Also Refer: Types of pigments in plant

There are different types of Chlorophyll, among which the Chlorophyll A and Chlorophyll B play a significant role in the biological process of photosynthesis.

Let’s learn about the differences between chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b

Chlorophyll a and Chlorophyll b – Differences

Chlorophyll a

Chlorophyll b


Chlorophyll a is the primary photosynthetic pigment

Chlorophyll b is the accessory pigment


It is present in all plants, algae, bacteria, cyanobacteria and phototrophs.

It is present only in green algae and in the plants.

Absorbing colour

Absorbs violet-blue and orange-red light from the spectrum.

Absorbs orange-red light from the spectrum.

Reflecting colour

It is a blue-green colour.

It is a yellow-green colour.


It is soluble in petroleum ether.

It is soluble in methyl alcohol.

Rate of Absorption




It absorbs more red wavelength.

It absorbs violet-blue wavelength.

Energy Absorption

It absorbs energy from wavelengths of blue-violet and orange-red light.

It absorbs energy from wavelengths of green light.

Absorption Range

It absorbs the light in the range of 430 nm to 660 nm.

It absorbs light in the range of 450 nm to 650 nm.

In Porphyrin Ring

Side groups of CH3.

CHO group is present other than CH3.


It is the reaction centre of the antenna array of core proteins.

It regulates the size of the antenna.

Chemical formula



Molecular weight

839.51 g/mol.

907.49 g/mol.

Structural Difference

Contains methyl group in the third position of its chlorine ring.

Contains an aldehyde group in the third position of its chlorine ring.

Also Refer: Difference Between Chlorophyll and Chloroplast

This concludes some of the basic differences between Chlorophyll a and Chlorophyll b. Stay tuned with BYJU’S Biology for more differences and other Biology related topics.

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