Essay on Photosynthesis And Its Effect On Human Behavior

Essay on Photosynthesis And Its Effect On Human Behavior

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Photosynthesis (an autotrophic function) converts light energy into chemical energy that can be utilized in the form of sugar and other organic compounds. The process of photosynthesis involves several steps of chemical reactions using carbon dioxide and water as reactants, in which photons of energy from light drive the reaction. The end products of photosynthesis are a sugar and oxygen that is released into the atmosphere. The chemical equation for photosynthesis is as follows:

6 CO2 + 6 H2O → 6(CH2O) + 6 O2

Zeroing in on the chemistry of photosynthesis reveals that the reaction is oxidation-reduction in that water is a proton donor (further, the electron donor of H). The oxygen released from the reaction is also contributed by the water in the reactant. Therefore, carbon dioxide serves as the electron acceptor, thus being reduced, while water is oxidized because it donated that electron.

To fully grasp the processes allowing photosynthesis to occur, one must understand plant (and ultimately the chloroplasts within plant cells) anatomy. Photosynthesis occurs in the leaves of a plant. Zooming in on the leaves to a cellular level, there are 5 important structures within chloroplast anatomy. An outermembrane holds the organelle’s shape, lying adjacent to the innermebrane, with intermembrane space between the two. Inside the organelle is cellular fluid called stroma - this is where light-independent reaction occurs (will be revisited further in the essay). The organelle’s organelles are thylakoids (stacks which are then called granum). Within thylakoids exist green pigment known as chlorophyll, which are arranged in photosystems (where photon absorption/excitation occurs).

Photosynthesis can be characterized as...

... middle of paper ...

...entually evolved into mitochondria in the cell OR as cyanobacterium. These eukaryotes went on to accommodate capability of photosynthesis via chloroplasts (versus mitochondria). As a comparison, it can be said that chloroplasts and mitochondria perform opposite functions. The physiology of chloroplasts builds glucose from carbon dioxide, water, and light. The function of mitochondria breaks down glucose to make ATP for energy.

Different photosynthetic pigments include chlorophylls, carotenoids, and phycobilins. Chlorophylls are green pigments, which means the leaves absorb wavelengths of colors other than green, but reflect green. Carotenoids are generally yellow-orange, and are accessory pigments; they cannot transfer sunlight energy into photosynthesis. Phycobilins, also accessory, absorb light energy only under strong light (extremely short wavelengths).

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