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17 terms

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 sac-like photosynthetic membranes; location of Calvin cycle
root hairs
tiny hair-like extensions that increase the surface area of roots allowing them to absorb more water and nutrients from the soil
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
stage of photosynthsis where light energy splits water and uses the high energy electrons generated from this splitting to form ATP and NADPH; oxygen gas is released as a by-product of the splitting of water molecules
light-independent reactions / Calvin cycle
stage of photosynthesis in which the energy stored in ATP and NADPH is used to convert carbon dioxide into high-energy compounds such as sugars (like glucose)
NADPH
the electron carrier molecule that is made during the light dependent reactions and used in the Calvin cycle to make sugar
ATP synthase
an enzyme that uses energy from H+ ions to bind ADP and a phosphate group together to produce ATP during the light-dependent reactions
photosystem
clusters of proteins and chlorophyll pigments located in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts that capture light energy during the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis and use this energy to make the high energy compounds ATP and NADPH