Ultimate Guide to Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a life-driving process that affects almost every creature in the environment. It is the process by which plants produce two of the most essential substances for plant and animal existence: oxygen and energy. Without photosynthesis, life as we know it would not be possible. We are largely dependent on the sugars produced by plants to provide us with the energy we need to live. The importance of this process is so great that some scientists argue that research needs to be conducted on the feasibility of artificial photosynthesis on a large scale so that all lack of energy in our environment can be compensated for! Photosynthesis is extremely important for our ecological balance. It is therefore very important for all students, young and old, to know about photosynthesis.

During photosynthesis, a chemical process takes place. Plants produce glucose and oxygen from carbon dioxide using light as the source. Oxygen is the by-product of this process.

The overall reaction translates as "six molecules of water plus six molecules of carbon dioxide produce one molecule of sugar plus six molecules of oxygen" source: http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookps.html

It is a process which occurs in all kinds of plants and even bacteria. In plants, photosynthesis takes place on the surface of green leaves. The process begins when energy from light is absorbed by plants. This is taken in by proteins called photosynthetic reaction centers which contain chlorophylls. Chlorophyll is a key molecule for photosynthesis and also gives plants their green color. It is found inside structures or organelles called chloroplasts in plants. In bacteria, chlorophyll is embedded in the plasma membrane. There are several other pigments which play a role in photosynthesis.

With the help of all these pigments, a chain of reactions occur which together are referred to as photosynthesis. Two major stages of this chain are the Photolysis and the Calvin Cycle. Photolysis is the light-dependant reaction of photosynthesis. It requires the presence of sunlight, and generally the more sunlight there is, the faster the rate of this reaction. Sunlight in this case is a factor which affects photosynthesis and its speed. It is referred to as a limiting factor. The second stage is the Calvin Cycle which produces oxygen and does not require sunlight for its occurrence. It does need water and nutrients however and these become the limiting factors in the case of the Calvin Cycle.

Photosynthesis is one of the essential processes in plants. Respiration and transpiration are two other very important and essential processes. In fact, respiration is an oxidation process. Respiration involves the breaking down of energy produced in photosynthesis and produces carbon dioxide.

Photosynthesis not only filters carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere, but also produces the energy that makes life for animals possible. It replenishes oxygen in the atmosphere. It is a process necessary for all life.

Introduction to Photosynthesis

About Photosynthesis
An article on the basics and essential of the photosynthesis process

Photosynthesis Basics
A revision document on the process of photosynthesis and its terminology. It also includes experiments and exercises to demonstrate the effect of each limiting factor on the process

E-coli promotes Photosynthesis
A study by California High School students showing how bacteria benefit photosynthesis in plants and promotes farm production

The Photosynthesis Process

The Photosynthesis Process
A basic guide about energy transfers and chemical reactions during photosynthesis. A resource for quick revision for both teachers and students

Photosynthesis Review
A review of the role of light in photosynthesis and the major reactions in the process

Ecological Considerations of Photosynthesis
A complete chapter on photosynthesis and its response to changes in carbon-di-oxide, temperature and light in the environment. The module is well illustrated with charts and diagrams

Photosynthesis Details
A detailed description of this biological process describing the chain of reactions which occur and properties of chlorophyll which is necessary for photosynthesis

Calvin Cycle
Information on the light independent reactions during the process of photosynthesis along with equations and diagrams

Photosynthesis in Coffee Leaves
A Brazilian research study to show the correlation between photosynthetic pigments, nitrogen and chlorophyll in coffee leaves

Photosynthesis Q&A
Are trees and shrubs the only places where photosynthesis occurs? How do tree leaves manage photosynthesis? Which factors limit the photosynthesis process? This website answers a few important questions about photosynthesis

Structure of Chloroplast
An in-depth look into photosynthesis with information on the structure of chloroplasts and photosynthetic membranes. The resource also covers topics such as the different stages of photosynthesis and the structure of leaves

Animation on Photosynthesis
An introduction to photosynthesis describing the process through an animation

Photosynthetic Electron Transport
A video by McGraw Hill explains the process of photosynthesis in a simple way

Interactive Photosynthesis Chart
An interactive diagram of the cross-section of a leaf. It explains and labels the parts of a plant which help in photosynthesis

Photosynthetic Pigments and Limiting Factors

Pigments for Photosynthesis
Information on chloroplasts and chlorophyll and which pigments in them are necessary for photosynthesis

Photosynthetic Pigments
A short study on chlorophyll, carotenoids and phycobilins: pigments and components which are needed for photosynthesis

Oxygen Production
Information on the basic mechanics of photosynthesis and the factors which affect it. For example murky water slows the photosynthesis of aquatic plants

Photosynthesis in Spotlight
Information on all aspects of photosynthesis including the reactions, factors and pigments

Photosynthesis and Respiration

Investigate Photosynthesis and Respiration
An experiment guide for students to study the differences between respiration and photosynthesis and understand both processes in plants

Plant Physiology
Descriptions and differences of the three major functions basic to plant growth: photosynthesis, transpiration and respiration

Quick Photosynthesis Facts
A brief description of the differences between photosynthesis and respiration

Difficulties in Understanding Photosynthesis
A research study on the difficulties students from ages 9 to 19 face in understanding photosynthesis and how they confuse it with respiration

Photosynthesis Design Experiments

Experiment to Test the Rate of Photosynthesis
An experiment designed for student groups to study the rate of photosynthesis in different situations

Demonstrating Photosynthesis
An experiment for students to perform in groups to learn about the different reactions during photosynthesis in plants

Experiment on Photosynthesis and Respiration
The Cornell Institute explains a step-by-step experimental procedure for high school students to investigate the differences between photosynthesis and respiration

Resources for Biology Lovers

Photosynthesis Research
A resource for biology enthusiasts which will discuss the possibility of a biological concept sustaining the world! The Centre for Photosynthesis Research explains its vision and potential of contribution to the world's energy demand

Photosynthetic Enzyme Activities
A resource for a true biology enthusiast! It explains in scientific terms the enzymes which play a role in photosynthesis

More Links on Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis Land
Videos, presentations, articles for teachers and students on photosynthesis

Center for Photosynthesis
The Arizona State University shares some excellent links to photosynthesis studies for high school students. It also shares amazing facts about photosynthesis!

Photosynthesis Library
A list of resources for teachers and students leading to websites and articles on photosynthesis

Photosynthesis Themes
A guide to several links and resources on photosynthesis for high school students

Climatic Effects on Photosynthesis
An article on photosynthesis and climatic change. The website has worldwide regular updates on bio-technological crops

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