Q:

What happens during photosynthesis?

A:

Quick Answer

During photosynthesis, chlorophyll absorb light energy that is used to convert carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil into glucose. Oxygen is released as a by-product. Some glucose is used for respiration, while some is converted into insoluble starch.

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Full Answer

Photosynthesis occurs in plants and in some algae. The process takes place in the chloroplasts, primarily in plant leaves. Carbon dioxide enters the leaves through the stomates by diffusion, and water is transported to the leaves in the xylem. The energy harvested through light reaction is stored by forming adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, a chemical compound used for energy storage. This process is called the "dark reaction" and takes place in the stroma. During the Calvin cycle, carbon dioxide and energy from ATP are used to create sugar. Oxygen exits the leaves through the stomata by diffusion, while the plant reuses the water or the water exits through the stomata as water vapor. The plant can combine glucose molecules to form cellulose.

During hot, dry weather, plants keep their stomates closed to decrease the amount of water that evaporates. This results in lower carbon dioxide levels in their leaves, so the plants must stop doing photosynthesis. Most photosynthesis occurs in Earth's oceans, carried out by organisms such as algae and diatoms.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the substances needed for photosynthesis?

    A:

    The substances needed for photosynthesis are water, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll. Plants require these three substances in the presence of light to convert light energy into chemical energy.

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  • Q:

    What are the reactants and products of photosynthesis?

    A:

    The reactants of photosynthesis are water, light and carbon dioxide, while the products are oxygen and sugars. Cellular respiration occurs in direct synchronicity with this process, using the products of photosynthesis as its reactants and producing its reactants.

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  • Q:

    What are the products of photosynthesis used for?

    A:

    Glucose, the primary product of photosynthesis, is a sugar formed from carbon dioxide and water molecules that acts as the primary food source for green plants. A secondary product of the process, oxygen, is released into the atmosphere as waste.

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  • Q:

    What is the role of chlorophyll in photosynthesis?

    A:

    Chlorophyll is a pigment found in the chloroplasts of plants that absorbs the wavelengths of light required to convert water and carbon dioxide into chemical energy during photosynthesis. Molecules of chlorophyll are arranged around the photosystems embedded in the chloroplasts' thylakoid membranes. There can be several hundred chlorophyll molecules per photosystem.

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