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Addu High School Hithadhoo/ Addu


The chloroplast o Chloroplasts belong to a group of organelle called plastids, where the reactions of photosynthesis take place. It measures 4-10m long and 2-3m wide. The chloroplast consists of a double membrane where the outer membrane is continuous but the inner membrane in tucks to form branching membrane called lamellae or thylakoids within the organelle. A green pigment called chlorophyll is found, which traps light energy and converted into chemical energy.

Topic: 5.1: Autotrophic nutrition, the basis of plant productivity

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Describe the structure of chloroplasts in relation to their role in photosynthesis. Describe the overall reaction of photosynthesis as requiring energy from light to split apart the strong bonds in water molecules, storing the hydrogen in a fuel (glucose) by combining it with carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Describe the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis including how light energy is trapped by exciting electrons in chlorophyll and the role of these electrons in generating ATP, and reducing NADP in photophosphorylation and producing oxygen through photolysis of water. Describe how phosphorylation of ADP requires energy and how hydrolysis of ATP provides an immediate supply of energy for biological processes. Describe the light-independent reactions as reduction of carbon dioxide using the products of the light-dependent reactions (carbon fixation in the Calvin cycle, the role of GP, GALP, RuBP and RUBISCO) and describe the products as simple sugars that are used by plants, animals and other organisms in respiration and the synthesis of new biological molecules (including polysaccharides, amino acids, lipids and nucleic acids). Carry out calculations of net primary productivity and explain the relationship between gross primary productivity, net primary productivity and plant respiration.

Department of Science- Biology- Notes-Photosynthesis Semester 3, Grade 12 2012

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Functions of the different parts of chloroplast Structure Outer membrane Inner membrane Function o Freely permeable to molecules such as carbon dioxide and water o Contains many transporter molecules. These are membrane proteins which regulate the passage of substances in and out of the chloroplast. o A system of interconnected flattened fluid filled sacs. o Contains photosynthetic pigments, electron carriers. o Site where light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis takes place. o A stack of thylakoids joined to one another. o Contains photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll. o The fluid surrounding the thylakoid membranes. o Contains all enzymes needed to carry the light-independent reactions of photosynthesis.

The photosynthetic pigments o o o o o A number of pigments are involved in photosynthesis of which chlorophyll is by far the most important. There are a number of chlorophylls with chlorophyll a and b being the most common. Chlorophyll absorbs light in the blue-violet and the red region of the visible spectrum. The remaining light, in the green region of the spectrum is reflected giving chlorophyll green colour. There is a second group of pigments involved in photosynthesis called carotenoids. Its colour ranges from pale yellow through orange to red. The colour of carotenoid is normally masked in photosynthetic tissues by chlorophyll. Carotenoids are called as accessory pigments because they pass the energy they absorb on to chlorophyll.

Thylakoid membrane

Granum Stroma

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How science works evidence for the different photosynthetic pigments

Reference Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity by Johns Adds, page 14.

How science works The production of TEM of chloroplast

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Absorption and action spectra o o An absorption spectrum is a graph showing the relative amount of light absorbed at different wavelength by a pigment. An action spectrum is a graph showing the effectiveness of different wavelength of light on photosynthesis. Graph showing an action spectrum for photosynthesis and absorption spectra for common plant pigments.

Photosystems Photosystems are structures that are visible as particles in the thylakoid membrane. They contain an antenna complex or light harvesting complex of pigment molecules and a reaction centre. The antenna complex contains 200-300 pigment molecules including accessory pigments. These pigments harvest light energy and pass the energy to a single chlorophyll molecule in the reaction centre.

The different pigment molecules around the reaction centre absorb light energy of different wavelengths. the chlorophyll and accessory pigment molecules are located in two types of photosystem knows as photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) 3 of 12

Department of Science- Biology- Notes-Photosynthesis Semester 3, Grade 12 2012

PS I has a reaction centre activated by lights of wavelength 700nm. This reaction centre is referred to as P700. PS II has a reaction centre activated by lights of wavelength 680nm. This reaction centre is referred to as P680.

Light-dependent reaction When light is absorbed by chlorophyll in the thylakoid membranes of the chloroplast the following events occur: 1. When a photon of light hits chlorophyll molecules in P680 electrons are excited and are raised to a higher energy level. 2. The electrons are picked up by an electron acceptor (carrier molecule). 3. These electron passes from one carrier to the next in a series of oxidation and reduction reactions to PSI. During the process some amount of energy is lost . 4. Some of the energy causes the pumping of hydrogen ions (protons) from the chloroplast matrix into the thylakoid space. 5. This result in the proton gradient, created across the thylakoid membrane which leads to the synthesis of ATP by cyclic and noncyclic photophosphorylation. 6. Within the thylakoid space, an enzyme catalyses the splitting of water by photolysis to give oxygen gas, hydrogen ions and electrons. Theses electrons replace those that were emitted from P680. The hydrogen ion concentration within the thylakoid space is raised as a result of photolysis. 7. The electrons then enter another chlorophyll molecule in P700 and get excited as light energy is absorbed and eventually pass to NADP (nictoineamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) 8. The NADP takes up a hydrogen ion from the dissociated water to form reduced NADP (NADPH + H+). 9. This reduced NADP is then used as a source of reducing power in the light-independent reactions.

Reactions of photosynthesis A- Light-dependent reactions Uses energy from light and hydrogen from photolysis of water to produce reduce NADP (NADPH +H+), ATP and waste product oxygen. Takes place in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast.

B- Light-independent reactions
Uses the reduced NADP and ATP from the light -dependent reaction to reduce carbon dioxide to carbohydrate.

The light-independent reactions take place on the thylakoid membranes

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Diagram showing light-dependent reaction

Cyclic photophosphorylation

Cyclic photophosphorylation involves only PSI and drives the production of ATP. PS I is oxidised releasing an 'excited' electron. The electron is taken by an electron acceptor and passes along the electron transport chain to produce ATP. The electrons are cycled back to PS I for its own reduction.

Diagram showing cyclic photophosphorylation


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Non-cyclic photophosphorylation

The light-independent reactions of photosynthesis The light-dependent reactions make ATP and reduced NADP which are then used in the light-independent reactions (Calvin cycle). The reduced NADP provides reducing power (electrons or hydrogen) and the ATP provides the energy for the process of making carbon dioxide into carbohydrate. The key steps in the Calvin cycle are shown in the diagram.

Involves both PS I and PSII. The electron which get excited from PSI is picked up by NADP which takes up a hydrogen ion from the dissociated water molecule to form reduced NADP. At the same time an excited electron from PSII is picked up by another electron acceptor and passes along an electron transport chain until it reaches PSI. This drives the synthesis of ATP.

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1. Carbon dioxide from the air combines with the 5-carbon compound ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP). The carbon dioxide is said to be fixed. This reactions is carried out by the enzyme ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase usually knows as RUBISCO. 2. The product of this reaction is an unstable six carbon compound which immediately splits to give two molecules of glycerate 3phospahte (GP), which is a 3 carbon compound.

ATP the universal energy currency

3. GP is then reduced (hydrogen added) to form glycerate 3phospahte (GALP), a 3-carbon sugar. (the hydrogen for this reaction comes from reduced NADP and the energy required from ATP). GALP

4. Ten out of every 12 GALPs are involved in the recreation of RuBP. The ten GALP molecules rearrange to form six 5-carbon compounds; then phosphorylation using ATP forms RuBP.

SUMMARY Department of Science- Biology- Notes-Photosynthesis Semester 3, Grade 12 2012 7 of 12

Energy made available within the cytoplasm may be transferred to a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This substance occurs in all cells at a concentration of 0.52.5 mg cm_3. It is a relatively small, soluble organic molecule a nucleotide with an unusual feature. It carries three phosphate groups linked together in a linear sequence

Formation of ATP ATP is formed from adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and phosphate ion (Pi) by transfer of energy from other reactions in a condensation reaction.

Breakdown of ATP to release energy When energy is needed, the third phosphate bond breaks by a hydrolysis reaction catalysed by the enzyme ATPase. The result of this reaction is adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and a free inorganic phosphate (Pi) and energy. About 34KJ per mole of ATP is produced.

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Fate of glucose made by photosynthesis Some of the glucose made in the Calvin cycle is used by the plant in respiration. The rest is used to synthesise all the molecules on which the plant relies, for example other simple sugars, polysaccharides, amino acids, lipids and nucleic acids.

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The productivity of photosynthesis The rate at which energy is incorporated into organic molecules in the plants in photosynthesis is called gross primary productivity (GPP).
Plants use some of the organic molecules in respiration. If we find out the figure for GPP and take away the amount of energy used in respiration (R), what is left is the rate at which energy is transferred into new plant biomass that can be eaten by herbivores or decomposers. This is called net primary productivity (NPP). Net primary production is the actual rate of production of new biomass that is available for consumption by heterotrophic organisms. All of these variables are measured in energy units (kilojoules) per square metre per year (kJ m-2 year 1) fixed in photosynthesis or used in respiration. The relationship between GPP, NPP and R is: NPP = GPP- R

The fate of light energy that reaches the green leaf

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How science works Studying the light-dependent reactions with isolated chloroplasts
Chloroplasts can be isolated from green plant leaves, and suspended in a buffer solution of the same concentration as the cytosol (an isotonic buffer). It has been found that the chloroplasts are undamaged when suspended in such a buffer, and function much as they do in the intact leaf. So, these isolated chloroplasts can be used to investigate the reactions of photosynthesis for example, they can be shown to evolve oxygen when illuminated. This occurs provided the natural electron-acceptor enzymes (carrier molecules) are present. In the research laboratory, a sensitive piece of apparatus called an oxygen electrode is used to detect the oxygen given off by isolated chloroplasts. Alternatively, a hydrogen-acceptor dye that changes colour when it is reduced can be used. The dye known as DCPIP is an example. DCPIP does no harm when added to chloroplasts in a suitable buffer solution, but changes colour from blue to a colourless state when it is reduced. The splitting of water by light energy (photolysis) is the source of hydrogen that turns DCPIP colourless. The photolysis of water and the reduction of the dye are represented by the equation:

The diagrams show how chloroplasts may be isolated, and their reducing activity investigated.

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Useful links Animation

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