The process by which light energy is harnessed to assemble organic compounds (esp. glucose) from inorganic carbon dioxide.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

86
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a reason why human eyesight and plants make use of the same wavelength of light?

The accepted range for the wavelengths of light that the human eye can detect is roughly between 400nm and 700nm. Is it a co-incidence that these wavelengths are identical to those in the ...
71
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do plants have green leaves and not red?

I know plants are green due to chlorophyll. Surely it would be more beneficial for plants to be red than green as by being green they reflect green light and do not absorb it even though green light ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

Do trees really get a large share of their mass from the carbon in the air?

I remember hearing that trees and other plants actually obtain a large amount of their mass from the carbon floating in the air, not the ground beneath them. Does the makeup of air actually contain ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Do plant-animal cross races exist?

Plants and animals have the following distinct properties: Plants live from solar energy by photosynthesis, they use solar energy to make sugar and oxygen out of carbon dioxide, which gives them ...
19
votes
3answers
81k views

NADH vs. NADPH: Where is each one used and why that instead of the other?

I know NADH is used in cellular respiration and NADPH is used in photosynthesis. What difference does the phosphate group make that the same one isn't or can't be used for both? Is there a greater ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

How will rising carbon dioxide levels in the troposphere affect photosynthetic producers?

Much discussion has been had about the affects of climate change on plantlife, but how will rising carbon dioxide concentrations affect the photosynthetic process itself? Since CO₂ is a reagent in ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

How does a plant grow before photosynthesis is possible?

During photosynthesis, a plant translates CO2, water and light into O2. I assume the carbon C is further used for the growing process. I wonder how the plant grows before the time where photosynthesis ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

Are trees the only source of large amounts of oxygen?

Trees use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen in the presence of sunlight. But is there any other source? If yes, are trees the most important source of oxygen, or is there any other source which ...
13
votes
2answers
833 views

Do electromagnetic waves outside the visible spectrum have any role in photosynthesis?

Does photosynthesis occur only in the visible spectrum? If there is a way to completely remove all other electromagnetic bands from the sunlight, including infrared (IR), will photosynthesis continue ...
13
votes
1answer
124 views

Does a theory exist for the formation of thylakoid structure?

I'm interested in how the structure of the thylakoid forms into its characteristic highly rugose stacks of grana. What causes the thylakoid to invaginate and self-associate, albeit with what appear to ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

What's the effect of oxygen deficit on plants?

As I know all cells require oxygen. So my question is how efficiently can plants operate in no-oxygen atmosphere? Do all plants produce enough oxygen for themselves? Can they consume their own oxygen ...
9
votes
3answers
615 views

What vegetation would thrive in the Martian atmosphere? [duplicate]

Most plants require carbon dioxide for their photosynthesis, which Mars has in overabundance. Would atmosphere composition (let's ignore temperatures for the purpose of this question) of Mars allow ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

Why does the oxygen produced in the photosynthesis come from water and not CO$_2$?

In the photosynthesis equation $$6*CO_2+6*H_2O+sunlight\rightarrow C_6H_{12}O_6+6*O_2$$ the only place where we have 6 molecules of $O_2$ is in the $6*CO_2$. Then it reacts with $H_2O$ to form ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Does Sansevieria trifasciata really absorb Carbon Dioxide at night?

There's a claim that Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother-in-law’s Tongue) generates oxygen from carbon dioxide during the night. This seems surprising to me: that process requires energy; plants generate ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is chlorophyll green? Isn't there a more energetically favorable color? [duplicate]

Chlorophyll being green means it absorbs light in the red and blue area of the spectrum. Isn't this the high and low energy light? Wouldn't plants get more energy if they absorbed light in the green ...
8
votes
1answer
541 views

Can Bioluminescence drive photosynthesis?

I'm trying to construct an anaerobic kitchen-waste digester at home. The major output from the digester is methane - with a significant component of carbon dioxide. To scrub/reduce the CO2 I was ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Do immature fruits perform photosynthesis?

Most immature fruits are green: peppers, pine cones, plums, lots of them. I want to know if the green is from chlorophyll in the cells. Do the fruit cells perform photosynthesis? When you cover a ...
8
votes
1answer
96 views

Primary Productivity of Oceans

80% of the world's photosynthesis takes place in the ocean. Despite this, oceans are also said to have low productivity - they cover 75% of the earth's surface, but out of the annual 170 billion ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How do white Caladiums perform enough photosynthesis to support their mass?

In some white caladiums, there is less than a square inch of green space spread over the whole leaf. How do these plants perform the photosynthesis necessary to support the large leaves, the roots, ...
7
votes
2answers
276 views

How many ATP are formed?

What is the number of ATP molecules formed during the photosynthetic processes which consume 8 molecules of $\text{H}_2\text{O}$ due to noncyclic electron transport and subsequent ...
7
votes
1answer
946 views

Why are there no known photosynthetic archaea?

I'm taking a microbial physiology course and we noted that, while some archaea are phototrophic, there are no known photosynethetic archaea. Are there any physiological characteristics that make ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

Does photosynthesis occur on cloudy days or does it require direct sunlight?

In my basic science classes in high school, I have learned that during photosynthesis, plants absorb sunlight and produce food by converting carbon dioxide and water into sugar and starch. To me, ...
7
votes
2answers
94 views

Exactly which amino acids are phosphorylated in higher plants during state transitions?

I know it is usually stated as the threonine residue near the N-terminus of either light harvesting complex (lhc) b1 or lhcb2, but if this is somehow lost, say in a mutant, is the system flexible ...
7
votes
1answer
291 views

Compare and contrast “Rubisco activity” and “assimilation rate” (is there a difference, and if so, what is it)?

I am confused about the variable "RuBisCO activity". How is it measured, and is it any different from the net assimilation rate? Based on some background reading (e.g. Kling, 2008; Lambers et al ...
7
votes
1answer
570 views

Can I estimate leaf temperature from air temperature? What other information would be required?

Physiological measurements such as respiration rate and assimilation rate depend on temperature. Most papers report tissue temperature (e.g. leaf temperature for leaf measurements), although some ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Do plants with non-green leaves have chlorophyll and photosynthesis?

Is it even possible that plants with non-green leaves have chlorophyll, and do such non-green leaved plants carry out photosynthesis?
6
votes
1answer
584 views

Photosynthetic Pigments vs. Chloroplasts

What is the difference between Photosynthetic Pigments and Chloroplasts? I know plants have both but Prokaryotes (Bacteria and Archeae) only have the former.
6
votes
1answer
274 views

Why is ATP produced in photosynthesis used to synthesize glucose?

In photosynthesis ATP is produced in light-dependent reactions only to go to the Calvin cycle to be turned into glucose to make ATP during respiration: Why isn't this ATP just directly released ...
6
votes
1answer
425 views

What is the lowest intensity threshold of light for photosynthesis in any species?

Recently, I was reading the question "Photosynthesis - light intensity, particularly the answer, that states that different species require different intensity of light. My question is what is the ...
6
votes
1answer
45 views

What Goes on in Photosystems at the Molecular/Atomic Level?

In light-harvesting complexes, how is the energy of a photon transferred from one pigment molecule to another? And in reaction-center complexes, how does the primary electron acceptor capture an ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Which will produce more oxygen? Less number of (larger) trees or more number of (smaller) plants?

In a given area A, we have two choices - (i) we can plant maximum number of trees (which are larger in size) possible in A, say m OR (ii) we can plant maximum number of plants (which are smaller in ...
6
votes
2answers
387 views

How is photosynthesis observed?

How is photosynthesis observed? Say I have plants A and B, and I want to find how fast they are able to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. How would I experiment this? Say I have one plant A, which ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Can we harvest energy from plants?

This is a cross-cutting question but I think its core is about biology. Our society's need for energy is dramatically growing and we are messing up with our environment to answer them. Maybe another ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Photosynthesis: What Powers the Splitting of Water?

The splitting of water is an endergonic (non-spontaneous) reaction, and thus would require energy (chemical work to be done) in order to happen. In Photosystem II, an enzyme catalyzes this splitting, ...
5
votes
3answers
90 views

Why is there a seeming dichotomy between mobility and photosynthesis?

At least among more complex organisms, I cannot think of any examples of highly mobile species (like animals) that also incorporate photosynthesis. Perhaps there are examples that I'm unaware of, but ...
5
votes
1answer
535 views

Do all plants photosynthesize with equal efficiency?

Just what the title states. Given identical, necessary and favourable conditions (Probably nutrients, humidity, and light but what I mean is all necessary requirements are fulfilled) - Is ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

How does CO₂ concentration affect photosynthesis?

I have heard the theory that with the increase of CO2 in the air, the speed of the photosynthesis would increase, thereby limiting the increase of CO2 levels. What is currently the rate limiting ...
5
votes
1answer
796 views

What types of light can't a plant photosynthesize in?

I have a plant on my desk, and it got me to wondering: Can my plant use the light from my monitors to photosynthesize? If so, what light (apart from green light, to a degree) can't plants use to ...
5
votes
2answers
240 views

How high is the energy yield of photovoltaics compared to photosynthesis?

I'm not an expert in plant physiology. I was wondering if, per square centimeter, leaves are converting more or less energy than photovoltaic systems. Can this be estimated? How?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the light color spectrum and frequency matter for photosynthesis?

Do plants grow differently when given sun light, wolfram lamp, fluorescent light, LED light, infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, unfocused laser and stroboscope?
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Photosynthesis regulation

I read about the regulation of Calvin cycle by thioredoxin which activates key enzymes essentially by converting disulphide linkages on inactive enzymes into sulfhydryls. Another regulatory mechanism ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

How are ions 'pumped' across a membrane during electron transport?

A number of sites (including this one) that provide descriptions of photosynthesis state that high energy electrons 'pump' ions across a membrane. What is the actual 'pumping' mechanism? I've looked ...
5
votes
1answer
68 views

Total dark deprivation at day-neutral plants

First of all, I am not a biologist. Almost for a week, a question has come to my mind: "Is it harmful ceaselessly exposing a plant to light?" (I mean with natural & artificial light with ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

Photolysis of Water?

In chemistry, I studied the decomposition of water as being $2H_2O_{(l)} \rightarrow 2H_{2(g)} + O_{2(g)}$. However, when water is split, the equation is $2H_2O_{(l)} \rightarrow 4H^+ + 4e^- ...
5
votes
2answers
124 views

Why upper surface of leaves is more green and shiny than the lower one?

I have properly googled this and got various answers. However, those answers do not provide an answer to the "Why" part of my question. Why is it that the upper surface of leaves is more green than ...
5
votes
0answers
72 views

How does a garlic clove thrive inside a closed refrigerator?

A garlic clove has been growing very well inside a closed refrigerator. It has developed beautiful green stalks, which I think are the equivalent of leafs. Since they are green, I assume they ...
5
votes
0answers
106 views

Where can I get numerical data for the PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) curve?

I'm trying to do some rough figuring to calculating efficiencies of various light sources for growing plants. I'm hampered, however, by the lack of a curve to multiply by the spectrum of light ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

When is Water Produced During Photosynthesis?

The formula for photosynthesis is: $$6CO_2+12H_2O \rightarrow C_6H_{12}O_6+6O_2+6H_2O$$ I can count the carbons, the waters on the reactant side, the oxygens, and the glucose, but I cannot seem to ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Why it seems that principles of chemistry are not being applied in this biochemical process? [closed]

According to an answer in this question, my concept used below does not apply: In the non-cyclic photophosphorylation, consider splitting of two water molecules, then 4 e- (electrons) and 4 H+ ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

Is chloroplasts per cell indicative of the photosynthetic power of a plant?

Plant-A has on average N chloroplasts per cell. Plant-B has on average M chloroplasts per cell. If N > M, is plant-A more efficient in turning carbon dioxide into oxygen? Also, is it possible to see ...