An introduction to the conditions needed for the process of photosynthesis

In plants the photosynthetic process occurs inside chloroplasts, which are organelles found in certain cells. Chloroplasts provide the energy and reduced carbon needed for plant growth and development, while the plant provides the chloroplast with CO2, water, nitrogen, organic molecules and minerals necessary for the chloroplast biogenesis. Most chloroplasts are located in specialized leaf cells, which often contain 50 or more chloroplasts per cell. Each chloroplast is defined by an inner and an outer envelope membrane and is shaped like a meniscus convex lens that is microns in diameter Fig.

An introduction to the conditions needed for the process of photosynthesis

Chloroplast and Thylakoid In photosynthetic bacteria, the proteins that gather light for photosynthesis are embedded in cell membranes. In its simplest form, this involves the membrane surrounding the cell itself. A typical plant cell contains about 10 to chloroplasts.

The chloroplast is enclosed by a membrane. This membrane is composed of a phospholipid inner membrane, a phospholipid outer membrane, and an intermembrane space.

Enclosed by the membrane is an aqueous fluid called the stroma. Embedded within the stroma are stacks of thylakoids granawhich are the site of photosynthesis. The thylakoids appear as flattened disks. The thylakoid itself is enclosed by the thylakoid membrane, and within the enclosed volume is a lumen or thylakoid space.

Embedded in the thylakoid membrane are integral and peripheral membrane protein complexes of the photosynthetic system. Plants absorb light primarily using the pigment chlorophyll. The green part of the light spectrum is not absorbed but is reflected which is the reason that most plants have a green color.

Besides chlorophyll, plants also use pigments such as carotenes and xanthophylls. These pigments are embedded in plants and algae in complexes called antenna proteins. In such proteins, the pigments are arranged to work together.

Such a combination of proteins is also called a light-harvesting complex. Although all cells in the green parts of a plant have chloroplasts, the majority of those are found in specially adapted structures called leaves. Certain species adapted to conditions of strong sunlight and ariditysuch as many Euphorbia and cactus species, have their main photosynthetic organs in their stems.

The cells in the interior tissues of a leaf, called the mesophyllcan contain betweenandchloroplasts for every square millimeter of leaf. The surface of the leaf is coated with a water-resistant waxy cuticle that protects the leaf from excessive evaporation of water and decreases the absorption of ultraviolet or blue light to reduce heating.

The transparent epidermis layer allows light to pass through to the palisade mesophyll cells where most of the photosynthesis takes place. Light-dependent reactions Main article: Light-dependent reactions In the light-dependent reactionsone molecule of the pigment chlorophyll absorbs one photon and loses one electron.

This electron is passed to a modified form of chlorophyll called pheophytinwhich passes the electron to a quinone molecule, starting the flow of electrons down an electron transport chain that leads to the ultimate reduction of NADP to NADPH.

In addition, this creates a proton gradient energy gradient across the chloroplast membranewhich is used by ATP synthase in the synthesis of ATP.

The chlorophyll molecule ultimately regains the electron it lost when a water molecule is split in a process called photolysiswhich releases a dioxygen O2 molecule as a waste product. The overall equation for the light-dependent reactions under the conditions of non-cyclic electron flow in green plants is: The photosynthetic action spectrum depends on the type of accessory pigments present.

For example, in green plants, the action spectrum resembles the absorption spectrum for chlorophylls and carotenoids with absorption peaks in violet-blue and red light. In red algae, the action spectrum is blue-green light, which allows these algae to use the blue end of the spectrum to grow in the deeper waters that filter out the longer wavelengths red light used by above ground green plants.

The non-absorbed part of the light spectrum is what gives photosynthetic organisms their color e. The light-dependent reactions are of two forms: In the non-cyclic reaction, the photons are captured in the light-harvesting antenna complexes of photosystem II by chlorophyll and other accessory pigments see diagram at right.

An introduction to the conditions needed for the process of photosynthesis

The absorption of a photon by the antenna complex frees an electron by a process called photoinduced charge separation. The antenna system is at the core of the chlorophyll molecule of the photosystem II reaction center.

That freed electron is transferred to the primary electron-acceptor molecule, pheophytin. The electron enters a chlorophyll molecule in Photosystem I. There it is further excited by the light absorbed by that photosystem. The electron is then passed along a chain of electron acceptors to which it transfers some of its energy.

The energy delivered to the electron acceptors is used to move hydrogen ions across the thylakoid membrane into the lumen. The cyclic reaction takes place only at photosystem I.

Once the electron is displaced from the photosystem, the electron is passed down the electron acceptor molecules and returns to photosystem I, from where it was emitted, hence the name cyclic reaction.

Water photolysis Main articles: Photodissociation and Oxygen evolution The NADPH is the main reducing agent produced by chloroplasts, which then goes on to provide a source of energetic electrons in other cellular reactions. Its production leaves chlorophyll in photosystem I with a deficit of electrons chlorophyll has been oxidizedwhich must be balanced by some other reducing agent that will supply the missing Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

The process of photosynthesis is commonly written as: 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O → C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O means that the reactants, six carbon dioxide molecules and six water molecules, are converted by light energy captured by chlorophyll (implied by the arrow) into a sugar molecule and six oxygen molecules, the products.

Usage note

The sugar is used by the organism, and the oxygen is released as a by-product. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. Advantages and disadvantages of C4 and C3 carbon fixation.

C4 plants grow better than C3 plants under hot, dry conditions when plants must close their stomata to conserve water – with stomata closed, CO2 levels in the interior of the leaf fall, and O2 levels rise. Respiration is the process by which organisms burn food to produce energy.

The starting material of cellular respiration is the sugar glucose, which has energy stored in its chemical can think of glucose as a kind of cellular piece of coal: chock-full of energy, .

If you're not a microbe and you're not an animal, you are probably a plant. There are about thousand known species of plants. Because plants adapt so well to almost any climate, scientists needed a way to organize the hundreds of thousands of species.

photosynthesis | Importance, Process, & Reactions |