Photosynthesis Notes

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1 Photosynthesis Notes Energy and Living Things: All living organisms must have energy to survive. Organisms get this energy from food. Organisms either make their own food or consume other organisms to obtain food. What is meant by food? Food contains a mixture of substances that are necessary for life, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The main food energy source for living things is carbohydrates (sugars). Autotrophs: Organisms that can make their own food. Examples: plants, algae, some bacteria Heterotrophs: Organisms that consume other organisms to obtain food. Examples: humans, cows, grasshoppers, birds, fungi, amoebas How do we get energy? We eat food containing sugars, and then convert those sugars into chemical energy (ATP) in a process called cellular respiration. ATP is the energy source most readily available to cells. Cellular respiration: Process that converts the energy in food (sugar) into chemical energy (ATP) which organisms can use to perform their life functions. This process takes place in the mitochondria. Sugar + Oxygen ATP Energy How do plants get energy? Since plants don t eat food, they must make their own food. This process is called photosynthesis, and it takes place in the chloroplasts. Photosynthesis: Process in which light energy is captured and stored as chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates (sugars). Sunlight + Carbon dioxide + Water Sugar Plants cells then take this sugar and convert is to ATP energy through the process of cellular respiration, just as animals do!

2 What type of energy can be used by the cells? ATP: adenosine triphosphate: the energy molecule of life. This molecule stores the chemical energy which organisms can use to perform their life functions. Energy is stored in ATP s phosphate bonds When the bond is broken energy is released ATP ADP + P + energy (This energy is used to do work in the cell.) When the bond is formed, energy must be used ADP + P + energy ATP (This energy is stored for later use.) Photosynthesis: Process by which light energy is captured and stored as chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates (sugars). 6 CO H 2 O C 6 H 12 O O 2 carbon dioxide water light glucose oxygen Photosynthesis takes place in two sets of reactions: 1. Energy capturing step 2. Food making step Where?: Takes place in chloroplasts, pigment containing organelles found in leaves Thylakoids membranes arranged as flattened sacs Grana stacks of thylakoids Stroma solution-filled space between grana stacks Thylakoid space space inside thylakoid sacs

3 Thylakoids contain pigments (compounds that absorb light) Light is either absorbed, transmitted, or reflected. The color you see is the wavelength that is reflected. The color you don t see is the wavelength absorbed. Pigments important to photosynthesis: Chlorophyll a absorbs red wavelength, reflects green Chlorophyll b absorbs blue wavelength, reflects green (funnels blue light energy to chlorophyll a) Carotenoids absorbs green wavelength, reflects brown & orange (funnels this energy to chlorophyll a) Chlorophyll a is the only pigment directly involved in photosynthesis. The other pigments are accessory pigments, which allow the chloroplast to absorb a broader spectrum of light energy. Stomata: openings (pores) in the bottom of the leaf through which carbon dioxide enters and water and oxygen exit Photosynthesis takes place in two sets of reactions: 1. Light dependent reactions: Energy capturing step which takes place in thylakoids. Capture the sun s energy and convert it into chemical forms usable by the cell: ATP stores energy in its phosphate bonds NADPH molecule carrying high energy electrons which will be used at another location NADP high energy e - + H + NADPH Uses H 2 O and releases O 2 as a by-product 2. Light independent reactions: Food making step which takes place in stroma. The light independent reactions are known as the Calvin Cycle. Uses the energy captured by the light dependent reactions to produce carbohydrates (sugar) from CO 2

4 Light Dependent Reactions: Light energy captured as chemical energy of NADPH and ATP Where does it occur? Thylakoid membrane Structures involved: Photosystem II: Group of several hundred pigment molecules (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids) that absorb the energy of light Photosystem I: Group of several hundred pigment molecules (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids) that absorb the energy of light Electron Transport Chain: Group of protein/enzyme molecules that can pass a high energy electron (e - ) along a pathway. There are 2 electron transport chains, one associated with each photosystem. ATP Synthase: Protein molecule that is able to channel protons across the membrane. It is also an enzyme that can convert ADP to ATP. Water-splitting enzyme: Enzyme that can split water into H + ions (protons) and O 2 NADP + : Carrier molecule for high-energy electrons. NADP + can carry two high energy electrons. NADP high energy e - + H + NADPH

5 Light Independent Reactions: Calvin Cycle Uses the energy stored in ATP and NADPH (which can only store energy for a few minutes) to produce carbohydrates (which can store energy for a long time) Where does it occur? In the stroma Six carbon dioxide molecules are required to produce 1 glucose molecule. ADP and NADP + are also produced during this cycle, and they are fed back into the light dependent cycle of reactions.

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