PHOTOSYNTHESIS

I. Photosynthesis in General a. Autotrophs use photosynthesis to produce organic compounds form carbon dioxide and water. The oxygen and glucose produced are then used by cells in cellular respiration, where carbon dioxide and water are produced. b. Products of photosynthesis are reactants of cellular respiration. Products of cellular respiration or reactants of photosynthesis c. Involves two Stages i. Light reaction – light energy from the sun is converted into chemical energy, which is temporarily stored in ATP and NADPH, which is the energy carrier molecule ii. Calvin Cycle – organic compounds are formed using CO2 and the chemical energies stored in ATP and NADPH d. 6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy  C6H12O2 + 6O2 The Light Reactions (requires light) a. Light and Pigments i. White light can be separated into its component colors by passing it through a prism, the resulting colors range from red to violet, and is known as the visible spectrum ii. Each color has a different wavelength, measured in nanometers. iii. When white light strikes an object, its component colors can be reflected, transmitted or absorbed by the object. iv. Pigments – compounds that absorb light v. The absorbed colors are removed from the visible spectrum, so the light that is reflected or transmitted back by the pigment no longer appear white b. Converting Light Energy to Chemical Energy i. General Overview 1. Pigments in chloroplast capture light energy, which is converted into chemical energy and temporarily stored as ATP and NADPH. Oxygen is given off as a byproduct 2. Chlorophylls and carotenoids are clustered in in groups of a few hundred pigment molecules in the thylakoid membrane. Group of pigment molecules and the proteins they are embedded in are called a photosystem. There are two type of photosystem I and photosystem II. 3. Light reaction begins when accessory pigment molecules in both photosystems absorb light. When doing so, they acquire some of the energy carried by the light. In each photosystem, this energy is passed on to other pigment molecules until it reaches a specific pair of chlorophyll a molecules which can also absorb light ii. Steps 1. Light energy forces electrons to enter a higher energy level in chlorophyll a molecules of photosystem II. They are in an excited state and have enough energy in order to leave the chlorophyll a molecules 2. Primary electron acceptor, a molecule in the thylakoid that the electrons enter 3. Primary electron acceptor donates the electron to a series of molecules which transfer electrons from one molecule to the next, known as electron

II.

transport chain. As electros move from molecule to molecule in the chain, original energy is lost, which is used to move H+ protons in the thylakoid. 4. Light is absorbed by photosystem I at the same time that light was absorbed by photosystem II. The electrons from the chlorophyll a molecules are moved to another primary electron acceptor. The electrons lost by these chlorophyll a molecules are replaced by the electrons that passed through the electron transport chain from photosystem II. 5. Electrons in photosystem I is excited by light energy and enters another electron transport chain, which brings them to the other side of the thylakoid membrane. Electrons combine with a proton and NADP+, an organic molecule that accepts electrons during redox reactions, and causes NADP to be reduced to NADPH. iii. Replacing Electrons in Light Reactions 1. Electron from chlorophyll molecules in photosystem II replace the electrons that leave chlorophyll molecules in photosystem I. Replacement electrons are produced by water molecules. Enzyme inside the thylakoid splits water molecules into protons, electrons, and oxygen. 2. 2H2O  4H+ + 4e- + O2 3. For every two molecules of water split, four electrons become available to replace those lost by the chlorophyll molecules in photosystem II. The protons produced are left inside the thylakoid, and oxygen diffuses out of chloroplast to leave the plant. iv. Making ATP in Light Reactions 1. Chemiosmosis – process during light reactions in which ATP is synthesized, and relies on a concentrated gradient of protons across the thylakoid membrane. 2. Protons are produced by slitting of water molecules or pumped from the stroma to the interior of the thylakoid. Energy required to pump these protons are supplied by excited electrons. Concentration of protons is higher inside the thylakoid than in the stroma 3. Concentration gradient represents potential energy, harvested by enzyme ATP synthase in thylakoid membrane. It makes ATP by adding a phosphate group to ADP. ATP synthase converts the potential energy of the proton concentration gradient into chemical energy stored in ATP

III.

The Calvin Cycle – series of enzyme-assisted chemical reactions that produces a 3-carbon sugar a. Carbon Fixation i. Carbon atoms form carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is fixed onto organic compounds. ii. 3 molecules of carbon dioxide must enter the Calvin cycle to produce each 3-carbon sugar b. Steps i. CO2 diffuses into the stroma from the surrounding cytosol, and enzyme combines each CO2 molecule with a 5-carbon molecule known as ribulose biphosphate (RuBP) and results in a very unstable six-carbon molecule that immediately splits into 2 3-carbon molecules, known as 3-phosphoglycerate (3-PGA) ii. Each 3-PGA receives a phosphate group from a molecule of ATP, then receives a proton from NADPH and releases a phosphate group. The ADP, NADP+, and phosphate that are produced can be used again in light reactions iii. One G3P molecules leaves the Calvin cycle and is used to make organic compounds in which energy is stored for later use iv. Remaining G3P are converted back into RuBP by adding phosphate group from ATP, and reenter Calvin cycle.

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