What Gas Is Used In Photosynthesis

What Gas Is Used In Photosynthesis – All living organisms on Earth are made up of one or more cells. Each cell runs on the chemical energy mainly found in carbohydrate (food) molecules, and most of these molecules are produced by one process: photosynthesis. Through photosynthesis, certain organisms convert solar energy (sunlight) into chemical energy, which is then used to build carbohydrate molecules. The energy used to hold these molecules together is released when an organism breaks down food. Cells then use this energy to perform work such as cellular respiration.

The energy utilized by photosynthesis continuously enters our planet’s ecosystems and is transferred from one organism to another. Therefore, the process of photosynthesis directly or indirectly provides most of the energy needed by living things on Earth.

What Gas Is Used In Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis also results in the release of oxygen into the atmosphere. In short, to eat and breathe, man is almost entirely dependent on the organisms that carry out photosynthesis.

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Some organisms can perform photosynthesis, others cannot. An autotroph is an organism that can produce its own food. The Greek roots of the word

). Plants are the best known autotrophs, but there are others, including certain types of bacteria and algae (Figure 5.2). Oceanic algae contribute massive amounts of food and oxygen to global food chains. Plants are also photoautotrophs, a type of autotrophs that use sunlight and carbon from carbon dioxide to synthesize chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates. All organisms that carry out photosynthesis need sunlight.

Figure 5-2 (a) Plants, (b) algae, and (c) certain bacteria called cyanobacteria are photoautotrophs that can carry out photosynthesis. Algae can grow in water over vast areas, sometimes covering the surface completely. (credit a: Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; credit b: “eutrophication&hypoxia”/Flickr; credit c: NASA; benchmark data by Matt Russell)

Heterotrophs are organisms that are incapable of photosynthesis and therefore must obtain energy and carbon from their food by consuming other organisms. The Greek roots of the word

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), meaning their food comes from other organisms. Although the food organism is a different animal, this food goes back to autotrophs and the process of photosynthesis. Humans are heterotrophs, like all animals. Heterotrophs are directly or indirectly dependent on autotrophs. Deer and wolves are heterotrophs. A deer gets energy by eating plants. A wolf that eats a deer gains energy originally from the plants that were eaten by the deer. The energy in the plant came from photosynthesis and is thus the only autotroph in this example (Figure 5.3). With this reasoning, all food eaten by humans can also be traced back to autotrophs that perform photosynthesis.

Figure 5.3 The energy stored in carbohydrate molecules through photosynthesis travels through the food chain. The predator that eats these deer gets energy that comes from the photosynthetic vegetation the deer consumed. (credit: Steve VanRiper, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Figure 5.4 Photosynthesis is the origin of the products that make up the main elements of the human diet. (credit: Associação Brasileira de Supermercados)

Major supermarkets in the United States are organized into sections, such as dairy, meat, produce, bread, cereal, and so on. Each aisle contains hundreds, if not thousands, of different products for customers to purchase and consume (Figure 5-4).

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While there is a wide variety, each element links back to photosynthesis. Meat and dairy products are linked to photosynthesis because the animals were fed plant foods. The breads, breakfast cereals and pastas largely come from grains, the seeds of photosynthetic plants. What about desserts and drinks? All of these products contain sugar – the basic carbohydrate molecule produced directly from photosynthesis. The connection of photosynthesis applies to every meal and food that a person consumes.

Photosynthesis requires sunlight, carbon dioxide and water as initial reactants (Figure 5.5). After the process is complete, photosynthesis releases oxygen and produces carbohydrate molecules, usually glucose. These sugar molecules contain the energy that living things need to survive.

Figure 5.5 Photosynthesis uses solar energy, carbon dioxide and water to release oxygen to produce energy-storing sugar molecules. Photosynthesis is the origin of the products that make up the main elements of the human diet. (credit: Associação Brasileira de Supermercados)

Figure 5.6 The process of photosynthesis can be represented by an equation, where carbon dioxide and water produce sugar and oxygen by using energy from sunlight.

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While the equation may seem simple, the many steps that take place during photosynthesis are actually quite complex, as the way the reaction that summarizes cellular respiration represented many individual reactions. Before learning the details of how photoautotrophs turn sunlight into food, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the physical structures involved.

In plants, photosynthesis mainly takes place in leaves, which are made up of many layers of cells and have differentiated tops and bottoms. The process of photosynthesis does not take place on the surface layers of the leaf, but rather in an intermediate layer called the mesophyll (Figure 5.7). The gas exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen occurs through small, regulated openings called stomata.

In all autotrophic eukaryotes, photosynthesis takes place in an organelle called a chloroplast. In plants, chloroplast-containing cells are found in the mesophyll. Chloroplasts have a double (inner and outer) membrane. Inside the chloroplast is a third membrane that forms stacked, disc-shaped structures called thylakoids. Embedded in the thylakoid membrane are molecules of chlorophyll, a pigment (a molecule that absorbs light) that kicks off the entire process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color of plants. The thylakoid membrane encloses an internal space called the thylakoid space. Other types of pigments are also involved in photosynthesis, but chlorophyll is by far the most important. As shown in Figure 5-7, a stack of thylakoids is called a granum, and the space around the granum is called the stroma (not to be confused with the stomata, the openings in the leaves).

Figure 5.7 Not all cells in a leaf perform photosynthesis. Cells in the middle layer of a leaf have chloroplasts, which contain the photosynthetic apparatus. (credit “leaf”: change of work by Cory Zanker)

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On a hot, dry day, the plants close their stomata to conserve water. What effect does this have on photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis occurs in two stages: the light-dependent reactions and the Calvin cycle. In the light-dependent reactions, which take place on the thylakoid membrane, chlorophyll absorbs energy from sunlight and then converts it into chemical energy using water. In the light-dependent reactions, oxygen is released from the hydrolysis of water as a by-product. In the Calvin cycle, which takes place in the stroma, the chemical energy derived from the light-dependent reactions drives both the trapping of carbon in carbon dioxide molecules and the subsequent assembly of sugar molecules. The two reactions use carrier molecules to transport the energy from one to the other. The carriers that move energy from the light-dependent reactions to the Calvin cycle reactions can be considered “full” because they provide energy. After the energy is released, the “empty” energy carriers go back to the light-dependent reactions to get more energy.

The process of photosynthesis transformed life on Earth. By harnessing energy from the sun, photosynthesis gave living things access to vast amounts of energy. Photosynthesis allowed living things access to sufficient energy, allowing them to develop new structures and achieve the biological diversity that is visible today.

Only certain organisms called autotrophs can carry out photosynthesis; they require the presence of chlorophyll, a specialized pigment that can absorb light and convert light energy into chemical energy. Photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water to assemble carbohydrate molecules (usually glucose) and releases oxygen into the air. Eukaryotic autotrophs, such as plants and algae, have organelles called chloroplasts where photosynthesis takes place.

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Light-dependent reaction: the first stage of photosynthesis in which visible light is absorbed to form two energy-carrying molecules (ATP and NADPH)

Stroma: the fluid-filled space surrounding the grana in a chloroplast where the Calvin cycle reactions of photosynthesis take place

Thylakoid: a disc-shaped membrane structure in a chloroplast where light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis take place using chlorophyll embedded in the membranes

Concepts of Biology – 1st Canadian Edition by Charles Molnar and Jane Gair is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International unless otherwise noted.

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The light-dependent reactions are the first stage of photosynthesis and take place in the thylakoid membranes of the chloroplasts.

Reduced NADP is a source of H+ for the light-independent phase, while ATP is an energy source.

The light-independent reactions are the second and final stage of photosynthesis that takes place in the stroma of the chloroplasts. Collectively known as the Calvin cycle, the light-independent reactions use ATP and reduced NADP from the light-dependent stage to produce glucose.

The light-dependent reactions take place in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts and involve the absorption of light energy by photosynthetic pigments, such as chlorophyll. This energy is then used to produce ATP and NADPH, which provide energy for the light-independent reactions.

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The light-independent reactions take place in the stroma of the chloroplasts and involve the utilization of the energy of ATP and NADPH produced in the light-dependent reactions. Carbon dioxide is bound to glucose via a

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