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NOVA - Official Website | Illuminating Photosynthesis

Glucose is a , and is the most important simple in human metabolism. Glucose is called a simple sugar or a monosaccharide because it is one of the smallest units which has the characteristics of this class of carbohydrates. Glucose is also sometimes called dextrose. Corn syrup is primarily glucose. Glucose is one of the primary molecules which serve as energy sources for plants and animals. It is found in the sap of plants, and is found in the human bloodstream where it is referred to as "blood sugar". The normal concentration of glucose in the blood is about 0.1%, but it becomes much higher in persons suffering from diabetes.

As a result of its importance in human health, glucose is an analyte in common medical blood tests

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.

BBC - GCSE Bitesize: 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.

and are the two most important simple for human consumption. They have the same molecular formula, C6H12O6, but have different structures. Each is a which can be considered to be the combination of 6 water molecules and 6 carbon dioxide molecules with the yield of 6 oxygen molecules. They are classified differently as , glucose being classified as an and fructose as a .

This tutorial introduces photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is the chemical change which happens in the leaves of green plants. It is the first step towards making food, not just for plants but ultimately every animal on the planet as well. During this reaction, carbon dioxide and water are converted into glucose and oxygen. The reaction requires light energy, which is absorbed by a green substance called chlorophyll.

Both and are which are classified as polysaccharides since they are composed of chains of glucose molecules. While they are similar, starches can be used as energy sources by the human body while cellulose cannot. Enzymes are important in the metabolism of foods, and these enzymes are very specific. They are somewhat like keys which will fit the geometry of the starch bonds, but not those of the cellulose bonds.

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Photosynthesis summary

Plants make their own food by photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide and water react together in the presence of light and chlorophyll to make glucose and oxygen. The glucose is converted into starch, fats and oils for storage. It is used to make cellulose for cell walls, and proteins for growth and repair. It is also used by the plant to release energy by respiration.

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