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7.2 The Process of Photosynthesis

The light-independant reactions of photosynthesis occur in the stroma of the chloroplast and involve the conversion of carbon dioxide and other compounds into glucose. The light-independent reactions can be split into three stages, these are carbon fixation, the reduction reactions and finally the regeneration of ribulose bisphosphate. Collectively these stages are known as the Calvin Cycle.

The Discovery of Photosynthesis

Photophosphorylation is the production of ATP using the energy of sunlight. Photophosphorylation is made possible as a result of chemiosmosis. Chemiosmosis is the movement of ions across a selectively permeable membrane, down their concentration gradient. During photosynthesis, light is absorbed by chlorophyll molecules. Electrons within these molecules are then raised to a higher energy state. These electrons then travel through Photosystem II, a chain of electron carriers and Photosystem I. As the electrons travel through the chain of electron carriers, they release energy. This energy is used to pump hydrogen ions across the thylakoid membrane and into the space within the thylakoid. A concentration gradient of hydrogen ions forms within this space. These then move back across the thylakoid membrane, down their concentration gradient through ATP synthase. ATP synthase uses the energy released from the movement of hydrogen ions down their concentration gradient to synthesise ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate.

LabBench Activity Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis

Explain the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis ; Explain the ..

Animals that consume plants also make use of this energy, as do those that consume those that consume plants, and so on to the top of the food chain.

As important a job as making all of the world's food is, there's another vital function that photosynthesis performs: It generates the oxygen that oxygen-breathing animals need to survive.

We exhale the carbon dioxide that plants need for photosynthesis.



Many scientists contributed to the discovery and understanding of photosynthesis throughout the ages; in this page are outlined some of those crucial milestone experiments that contributed to this effort.




Jan Baptista van Helmont, Flemish physician, chemist, and physicist, in the 1600s carried out a famous experiment by growing a willow tree in a pot for five years.

The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System

What is Photosynthesis? Why is it important? Answers provided for kids along with the process of photosynthesis, chemical and word equation and much more

So how can these factors have an effect on the rate of photosynthesis? Lets start off with the light intensity. When the light intensity is poor, there is a shortage of ATP and NADPH, as these are products from the light dependent reactions. Without these products the light independent reactions can't occur as glycerate 3-phosphate cannot be reduced. Therefore a shortage of these products will limit the rate of photosynthesis. When the carbon dioxide concentration is low, the amount of glycerate 3-phosphate produced is limited as carbon dioxide is needed for its production and therefore the rate of photosynthesis is affected. Finally, many enzymes are involved during the process of photosynthesis. At low temperatures these enzymes work slower. At high temperatures the enzymes no longer work effectively. This affects the rate of the reactions in the Calvin cycle and therefore the rate of photosynthesis will be affected.

A limiting factor is a factor that controls a process. Light intensity, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration are all factors which can control the rate of photosynthesis. Usually, only one of these factors will be the limiting factor in a plant at a certain time. This is the factor which is the furthest from its optimum level at a particular point in time. If we change the limiting factor the rate of photosynthesis will change but changes to the other factors will have no effect on the rate. If the levels of the limiting factor increase so that this factor is no longer the furthest from its optimum level, the limiting factor will change to the factor which is at that point in time, the furthest from its optimum level. For example, at night the limiting factor is likely to be the light intensity as this will be the furthest from its optimum level. During the day, the limiting factor is likely to switch to the temperature or the carbon dioxide concentration as the light intensity increases.

2.1 Modes of photosynthesis
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Pentose phosphate pathway - Wikipedia

The action spectrum of photosynthesis is a graph showing the rate of photosynthesis for each wavelength of light. The rate of photosynthesis will not be the same for every wavelength of light. The rate of photosynthesis is the least with green-yellow light (525 nm-625 nm). Red-orange light (625nm-700nm) shows a good rate of photosynthesis however the best rate of photosynthesis is seen with violet-blue light (400nm-525nm).

Our Scienceworld curriculum consists of 213 lessons

Tropisms are directional movement responses which occur due to external environmental stimuli. The direction of the stimulus affects the direction of movement. Tropisms can either be negative or positive. Positive tropisms are the directional movement towards the stimulus while negative tropisms are the directional movement away from the stimulus. Examples of stimuli causing tropisms in plants are gravity and light. Roots will grow towards gravity while the plant shoot will grow upwards in the opposite direction. The directional movement of plants in response to light is called phototropism. As seen with gravity, the plant's roots will grow away from the light, into the soil (negative phototropism) while the plant shoot will grow towards the light (positive phototropism). Positive phototropism seen at the tips of plant shoots is made possible due to plant hormones called auxins. Auxins are produced at the tips of plant shoots and then translocate to the darker side of the shoot tip and stem which is receiving less light. This translocation is made possible via auxin efflux carriers which are unevenly distributed in the plant tissue. Once auxins reach the shaded side of the plant, they cause the elongation of cells so that the shaded side grows faster than the brighter side, thereby promoting the bending of the plant shoot towards the light. Auxins do so by binding to auxin receptors on cells. The binding of auxin causes the transcription of certain genes within those cells and therefore the production of specific proteins which affect growth. Auxins allow the expelling of protons (hydrogen ions) into the cell walls of the cells on the shaded side, decreasing the pH inside the cells and in doing so activate specific enzymes which break down cellulose microfibrils within the cell wall. This loosens the cell wall and allows cell elongation. So to conclude, auxins are very important in the control of plant growth towards the light and thereby allow the plant to increase its rate of photosynthesis.

CSET Multiple Subjects Subtest 2 Test Prep Video …

In the interest of genetic engineering and agricultural applications, the authors analyze the relative importance of genes that control both metabolic and light reactions as well as the structure, arrangement, and orientation of photosynthesis.










Science for Kids - e-learning for kids

The phase diagram for water illustrated in part (b) in shows the boundary between ice and water on an expanded scale. The melting curve of ice slopes up and slightly to the left rather than up and to the right as in ; that is, the melting point of ice with increasing pressure; at 100 MPa (987 atm), ice melts at −9°C. Water behaves this way because it is one of the few known substances for which the crystalline solid is than the liquid (others include antimony and bismuth). Increasing the pressure of ice that is in equilibrium with water at 0°C and 1 atm tends to push some of the molecules closer together, thus decreasing the volume of the sample. The decrease in volume (and corresponding increase in density) is smaller for a solid or a liquid than for a gas, but it is sufficient to melt some of the ice.

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