Photosynthesis Vocabulary

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photosynthesis

process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches

autotroph

organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food

heterotroph

organism that cannot make its own food and must feed on other organisms for energy and nutrients

reactant

element or compound that enters into a chemical reaction

product

element or compound produced by a chemical reaction

adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

one of the principal chemical compounds that cells use to store and release energy

pigment

light-absorbing molecule

chlorophyll

green pigment in plants that absorbs light energy used to carry out photosynthesis

thylakoid

sac-like photosynthetic membrane within chloroplasts; location of light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis

stroma

the fluid of the chloroplast surrounding the thylakoids; location of Calvin cycle

root hairs

tiny hair-like extensions that increase the surface area of the root allowing it to absorbs more water and nurtients

stomata

openings in the underside of a leaf that allow carbon dioxide and oxygen to diffuse into and out of the leaf

light-dependent reactions

phase of photosynthsis where light energy is converted to chemical energy in form of ATP and NADPH, resulting in the splitting of water and the release of oxygen

Calvin cycle

reactions of photosynthesis in which energy from ATP and NADPH is used to convert carbon dioxide into high-energy compounds such as sugars

NADP+

one of the carrier molecules that transfers high-energy electrons from chlorophyll to other molecules

NADPH

the electron carrier that is made during the light dependent reactions and used in the Calvin cycle

ATP synthase

an enzyme that uses energy from H+ ions to bind ADP and a phosphate group together to produce ATP

adenosine diphosphate ADP

A nucleotide consisting of adenine, ribose, and two phosphate groups; formed by the removal of one phosphate from an ATP molecule.

photosystem

in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts, a cluster of chlorophyll and other pigment molecules that harvest light energy for the light reactions of photosynthesis

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