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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


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


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


element or compound that enters into a chemical reaction


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


light-absorbing molecule


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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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