Photosynthesis

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26 terms

light reactions

phase of photosynthesis where light energy is converted to chemical energy in the form of ATP and NADPH; results in the splitting of water and the release of oxygen; takes place in the thylakoid membranes

Calvin Cycle

Organic compounds (sugars) are formed using CO2 and the chemical energy stored in ATP and NADPH; takes place in the stroma

electromagnetic energy

A form of energy that travels through space as waves

visible light

That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum detected as various colors by the human eye, ranging in wavelength from about 380 nm to about 750 nm.

chlorophyll

principal pigment of plants and other photosynthetic organisms; captures light energy

accessory pigments

Pigments that absorbs light at wavelengths that are different from chlorophyll and then pass energy onto chlorophyll

autotroph

organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds; also called a producer

photoautotroph

An organism that harnesses light energy to drive the synthesis of organic compounds from carbon dioxide.

chloroplast

organelle found in cells of plants and some other organisms that captures the energy from sunlight and converts it into chemical energy

thylakoid

flattened sac within a Granum whose membrane contains chlorophyll; where the light reactions of photosynthesis occur

granum

a stack of thylakoids in a chloroplast

lumen

the space in the middle of thylakoid

stroma

The fluid of the chloroplast surrounding the thylakoid membrane; involved in the synthesis of organic molecules from carbon dioxide.

electron transport chain

a series of molecules, found in the inner membranes of mitochondria and chloroplasts, through which electrons pass in a process that causes protons to build up on one side of the membrane

chemiosmosis

in chloroplasts and mitochondria, a process in which the movement of protons down their concentration gradient across a membrane through ATP synthase which results in the synthesis of ATP

NADPH

electron carrier that provides high-energy electrons for photosynthesis

CAM plant

A plant that uses crassulacean acid metabolism, an adaptation for photosynthesis in arid conditions, first discovered in the family Crassulaceae. Carbon dioxide entering open stomata during the night is converted into organic acids, which release CO2 for the Calvin cycle during the day, when stomata are closed.

C4 plant

A plant that prefaces the Calvin cycle with reactions that incorporate CO2 into a four-carbon compound, the end product of which supplies CO2 for the Calvin cycle.

C3 plant

A plant that uses the Calvin cycle for the initial steps that incorporate CO2 into organic material, forming a three-carbon compound as the first stable intermediate. (normal photosynthesis)

carbon fixation

The incorporation of carbon from carbon dioxide into an organic compound by an autotrophic organism.

photon

a tiny particle or packet of light energy

wavelength

The distance between crests of waves, such as those of the electromagnetic spectrum.

photosystem

A light-capturing unit located in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast or in the membrane of some prokaryotes, consisting of a reaction-center complex surrounded by numerous light-harvesting complexes.

reaction center

The chlorophyll a molecule and the primary electron acceptor in a photosystem; they trigger the light reactions of photosynthesis. The chlorophyll donates an electron, excited by light energy, to the primary electron acceptor, which passes an electron to an electron transport chain.

photophosphorylation

The process of generating ATP from ADP and phosphate by means of a proton-motive force generated by the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast during the light reactions of photosynthesis.

photorespiration

A metabolic pathway that consumes oxygen and ATP, releases carbon dioxide, and decreases photosynthetic output. Photorespiration generally occurs on hot, dry, bright days, when stomata close and the oxygen concentration in the leaf exceeds that of carbon dioxide.

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