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Photosynthesis

This category is for questions about the chemical process in which autotrophic organisms use sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to make glucose, water and oxygen. This process is vital to life and is of great importance in biology.

23,597 Questions
Photosynthesis

What is photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis (photo = light and synthesis = to make) is the process plants use to change carbon dioxide and water into sugar using sunlight. This sugar, glucose, is their food, and the process gives off oxygen.

Photosynthesis is the conversion of light energy into chemical energy by living organisms. The raw materials are carbon dioxide and water. The energy source is sunlight, and the end-products include glucose and oxygen. It is arguably the most important biochemical pathway, since nearly all life depends on it. It is a complex process occurring in higher plants, phytoplankton, algae, as well as bacteria such as cyanobacteria. Photosynthetic organisms are also referred to as autotrophs.

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, some bacteria, and some protistans use the energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which cellular respiration converts into ATP, the "fuel" used by all living things. The conversion of unusable sunlight energy into usable chemical energy, is associated with the actions of the green pigment chlorophyll. Most of the time, the photosynthetic process uses water and releases the oxygen that we absolutely must have to stay alive.

We can write the overall reaction of this process as:

6H2O + 6CO2 + light → C6H12O6+ 6O2

6 water molecules + 6 carbon dioxide molecules + light is converted into 1 glucose molecule and 6 oxygen molecules
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants and other things make food

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Photosynthesis
The Difference Between
Cellular Respiration

How are photosynthesis and cellular respiration different?

Photosynthesis:

  • occurs in plants and some bacteria.
  • only occurs in the presence of sunlight/UV light
  • occurs within the chloroplasts.
  • requires chlorophyll
  • uses water, light energy and carbon dioxide
  • produces oxygen and glucose (which are the reactants of cellular respiration)
  • captures light energy to store as chemical energy
  • builds up the plant's energy stores
  • chemical formula is 6CO2 + 6H2O (+ light energy) C6H12O6 + 6O2
  • is an anabolic reaction, i.e. simple molecules are built up into complex ones
  • occurs in two phases: the light and dark reactions
  • uses NADP to carry hydrogen ions
  • is an endothermic process
  • results in the production of carbohydrates
  • captures light energy and converts it to chemical energy
  • energy is solar energy converted to chemical energy

Cellular Respiration

  • occurs in plants and animals.
  • occurs at all times in all living organisms
  • occurs within the cytoplasm and mitochondria.
  • does not require chlorophyll
  • uses oxygen and glucose
  • produces energy (in the form of ATP), carbon dioxide, and water (which are the reactants of photosynthesis)
  • chemical formula is C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6CO2 + 6H2O + energy (ATP)
  • is a catabolic reaction, i.e. complex molecules are broken down to simpler ones
  • occurs in three phases: glycolysis, Krebs and the ETS
  • uses NAD+ to carry hydrogen ions
  • Is an exothermic process.
  • Involves the use/consumption of carbohydrates
  • takes the chemical energy resulting from photosynthesis and breaks it down, releasing energy
  • energy is the stored chemical energy that originated from photosynthesis; this chemical energy is converted to other kinds of energy like heat and motion (energy required for cellular processes to occur.)
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Science
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

How does cloudy weather affect photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is the process of taking water and light and turning it into energy in the form of sugar. So, if plants don't have enough light, they wont be able to prodce sugar. They still get some light when clouds are around, but not enough for them to be able to create a lot of the product.

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Light is a limiting factor in photosynthesis during cloudy weather.

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

What happens because of photosynthesis?

Carbon dioxide, water, and light energy are used to produce glucose and oxygen. The process provides a pathway to turn light energy into chemical energy. This energy is used by all heterotrophs (such as animals, fungi, and many bacteria) to support all cellular functions. In a way, because of photosynthesis, most life on Earth can exist.

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Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

What organelles contain chlorophyll and other pigments involved in photosynthesis?

Chlorophyll and other pigments of photosynthesis are mainly in chloroplasts. There are also pigments such as carotenoid present in chromoplasts. Photosynthetic pigments are also found in cyanobacteria.

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Synonyms and Antonyms
Plants and Flowers
Photosynthesis

What are some synonyms for photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is the synthesis of using sunlight as the source of energy and with the aid of chlorophyll and associated pigments. Also, photo means light from the loan-translation of German.

A synonym for photosynthesis could be light construction.

Carbon assimilation is synonym for photosynthesis

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Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

Does photosynthesis not occur in absence of light?

Photosynthesis can occur without sunlight but only for a certain period as the sunlight originally supplies the energy that is needed to be converted. Without the original source for an elongated period photosynthesis would eventually stop.

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

What plant organs absorb light?

Any part of the plant that is green will have cells that contain chloroplasts which are responsible for capturing light and converting it to chemical energy.

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

Do all living organisms undergo photosynthesis?

No, not all living organisms undergo photosynthesis.

Only phototrophs (photosynthetic autotrophs) such as plants, algae, and many forms of photosynthetic bacteria undergo photosynthesis. All other organisms live by eating autotrophs or other organisms that have eaten autotrophs; these organisms are heterotrophs. There are a few specialized organisms (which may live where no light shines) that use a process called chemosynthesis to get their energy; these organisms are called chemotrophs.

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Photosynthesis

Why is photosynthesis important to plants and animals?

The process of photosynthesis provides plants with the food and energy they need to grow. The animals subsequently eat them at various stages of their growth. Photosynthesis is the driving force of primary producers

One of the byproducts of photosynthesis is oxygen (both terrestrial and marine plants), which we breath. Without photosynthesis the oxygen levels in the atmosphere would not be replenished.

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Photosynthesis

Is carbon dioxide released by photosynthesis?

Plants absorb carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. They release carbon dioxide, usually at night, through respiration.

Photosynthesis is a process that uses the energy of light (photo-) to fuel the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into sugars that can then be converted into plant material (-synthesis) as well as releasing oxygen. In the process of converting the sugars created by photosynthesis into other plant material, plants consume some oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This is particularly noticeable at night or when light is low and hence photosynthesis is not occurring. This process where they release carbon dioxide instead of taking it in is known as respiration. In general, the plants release more oxygen during photosynthesis than they consume in respiration and likewise consume more carbon dioxide in photosynthesis than they release in respiration.

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Biology
Genetic Engineering
Photosynthesis
Genetic Diseases

Why does chlorosis occur in plants?

Plants have chloroplasts which contain chlorophyll, and if there is decrease in chlorophyll due to less availability of magneseium or nitrogen in the soil, then this results in Chlorosis.

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

What happens to the rate of photosynthesis if the stomata becomes larger?

The rate may increase as the exchange of CO2 and O2 becomes easier, but the rate of transpiration (water vapor being lost to the atmosphere) will increase. With this trade off, there is an optimal size for the stomata to be for the given conditions.

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Photosynthesis
Oil and Petroleum
Poisons and Toxins

When you burn petrol what gases are formed?

Petrol is a hydrocarbon ( made of hydrogen and carbon). When it burns in plentiful of oxygen it form carbon di oxide gas and water vapours. If oxygen is in limited supply carbon monoxide is formed instead of carbon dioxide.

Petrol sometimes contains impurities of Nitrogen and Sulphur. When petrol burns these elements combine with oxygen to make oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide ( All of which are gases).

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Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

What is another name for the Calvin cycle?

Other names for the Calvin Cycle are the "dark cycle" or "light independent reactions".

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

What are stomata in biological terms?

Stomata are minute openings occurring in large numbers on the lower surface of a leaf.

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Science Experiments
Science
Plants and Flowers
Photosynthesis

Can photosynthesis occur under water?

Yes, although only when the water is clear and shallow enough for sunlight to travel through the water to plants like algae helping them survive. However, some algea species are able to live further down and photosynthesize. Rhodophyta, red algea, is able to photosynthesize because of a pigment called phycoerythrin which allows them to absorb more blue light wavelengths. The fact that it can absorb blue light is important these shorter wavelengths are able to penetrate into the water further.

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Photosynthesis

How does air help us in photosynthesis?

Plants perform photosynthesis by taking in water and the carbon dioxide we breathe out, and turning them into a mixure called glucose. 'Air' or oxegyn is a byproduct of photosynthesis. So plants and us are, in essence, dependent on each other for life.

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Science
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis
Food Chains and Food Webs

Can leaves that are not green make food?

Yes, leaves do not have to be green to photosynthesize and make food. The green is caused by chlorophyll, the most common and the most efficient, but not the only, compound that can extract energy from sunlight. Other pigments that can photosynthesize include cartenoids and phycobilins, and non-green leaves that photosynthesize range from brown and red seaweeds to red or yellow lichens and purple-leaved plum trees.

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Photosynthesis

How does light direction affect plant growth?

Plants need light and they will grow towards where they receive an optimal amount; plants will face where the light is. You can experiment on your own by growing your own plant and using a desk lamp as the light source. As the plant grows, it will lean towards and face the light source directly.

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

Do stomata trap sunlight for photosynthesis?

No, stomata are pores for the exchange of gases.

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Biology
Genetics
Photosynthesis

What waste is generated when cells make ATP?

It depends on the type of respiration taking place. Lactic acid or ethyl alcohol will be produced if it is in anerobic (O2 is not present) conditions while water will be produced as a waste in aerobic (O2 present) conditions. In the process, CO2 is also produced no matter if it is anerobic or aerobic.

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

What is the importance of green plants as food producers?

The green plants perform photosynthesis and thus produce organic compounds like glucose from inorganic compounds like H2O and CO2 in their chloroplasts in the presence of light. All other food products are derivatives of photosynthetic products.

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Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Photosynthesis

Do plants absorb oxygen along with CO2?

Well,plants do absorb oxygen along with CO2,but only a little.We take in oxygen with CO2,but only a little.

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Biology
Photosynthesis

What is the gaseous product of photosynthesis?

oxygen
Oxygen gas is the product of photosynthesis. It comes from the water being split at photosystem II.

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