Q:

What are the two main products of photosynthesis?

A:

Quick Answer

The two main output products of photosynthesis are oxygen and sugar. Plants use energy from the sun to produce these items from water and carbon dioxide. The oxygen produced is emitted as a waste product, while the sugar is used to produce energy through cellular respiration.

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Full Answer

Photosynthesis takes six molecules of carbon dioxide and six of water and uses sunlight energy to convert them into six molecules of oxygen and a single sugar molecule with the structure C6H12O6. The oxygen produced in this chemical reaction provides the essential ingredient for respiration by humans and other animals; photosynthesis is thus necessary for both plants and animals to survive.

Photosynthesis occurs inside plant cells in a material called chlorophyll. This substance is what gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll absorbs energy from sunlight, particularly from the red and blue wavelengths; the green wavelengths are reflected away from the chlorophyll, giving a green appearance. This energy is required to make the chemical bonds that allow photosynthesis to take place.

In order to achieve photosynthesis, a plant must have access to water, sunlight and carbon dioxide. However, different environments provide different access to these resources. For example, desert plants have very limited access to water. As a result, plants have evolved to maximize their local resources. Broad leaves provide massive surface area to volume ratios, ensuring maximum access to sunlight. Similarly, some plants have extensive root systems to provide greater access to water.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the two stages of photosynthesis called?

    A:

    Photosynthesis takes place in two stages: the light reactions and the dark reactions. The light reactions take their name because they require the presence of direct light, while the dark reactions do not have the same proviso. Light reactions occur in the thylakoid stacks in the grana for the most part, while dark reactions do not, although they also most frequently happen during the daytime.

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  • Q:

    What is needed for photosynthesis to occur?

    A:

    For photosynthesis to occur, plants need sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll. Through the process of photosynthesis plants convert light energy into chemical energy. They use this energy to make food which they store as sugars.

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  • Q:

    What are the stages of photosynthesis?

    A:

    The two stages of photosynthesis are light reactions and the Calvin cycle; light reactions take place first, forming the photo portion of photosynthesis, while the Calvin cycle follows, completing the cycle with several steps involving photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is defined as one process, but contains two distinct stages, which in turn break down into a series of steps. During the steps in the light reaction stage, energy from the sun converts into chemical energy, while the Calvin cycle brings carbon dioxide fixation.

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  • Q:

    What releases oxygen in photosynthesis?

    A:

    In oxygenic photosynthesis, cyanobacteria and the chloroplasts of plants and algae turn carbon dioxide, water and photons into carbohydrates and free oxygen. Only some of this oxygen is used by the organism; the rest is released into the atmosphere.

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