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What is photosynthesis?

 What is photosynthesis? 

Harness the Power of the Sun 

Photosynthesis is a beautiful process of nature wherein some green plants and organisms use sunlight to synthesis their nutrients from carbon dioxide and water.  In plants this generally the outcome is oxygen and involves green pigment chlorophyll. 

Why is photosynthesis important to Humans?

The air we breathe and the ultimate source of food we eat is the outcome of the photosynthesis. This process converts the sunlight into chemical energy in the form of sugar. This sugar at the cellular life is broken down through cellular respiration to fuel life. 

Animals and Humans eat food to get their energy. Green plants and algae make their own food in a process called photosynthesis.  The earths balance of maintaining oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs in this process of photosynthesis. 

Plants need the following for this process of photosynthesis 

  1. Carbon dioxide

  2. Water

  3. Light (Source of energy)

The process of photosynthesis generates 

  1. Oxygen 

  2. Glucose 

The simple equation for photosynthesis is as below:

carbon dioxide + water glucose + oxygen

Where does photosynthesis take place? 

This process in nature of synthesising its nutrients takes place in plants and in certain type of bacteria. In plants this occurs in chloroplasts and in bacteria the process of photosynthesis occurs in structures called chromatophores-membranes formed by numerous folding of the plasma membrane.

Where does photosynthesis take place in plants?

In plants it takes place inside their plant cells, in small things called the chloroplasts. Chlorophyll is a green substance found in chloroplast. Chlorophyll absorbs a larger range of sunlight enabling the plant to absorb as much energy as it can for its reactions. These surface of the plant or the epidermis of the leaf protects the processes occurring beneath.  Chlorophyll is the green pigment in leaf’s, and this is the most important requirement in converting the sunlight into energy. 

Where does photosynthesis take place in cactus plants? 

Have you wondered how cactus plants draw their energy from the sun? They do not have leaves and have only thorns. In cactus plants the process of converting sunlight into energy takes place in the stems, pads or branches with scales and spines instead of leaves. 

While plants use their holes in their leaves to photosynthesis in it, cacti use CAM photosynthesise a process which is unique to succulents. Cacti is mainly a desert plant, so the stem succulents have the ability to store water.

The essentials for the process of photosynthesis is light energy, water, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll and the products are glucose (sugar), oxygen and water. The glucose that is stored provides food for higher organisms that eat plants. 

Where does photosynthesis take place in leaves?

Leaves are the collectors of the energy from the sun. The little cells in the leaves, the chloroplasts collect the energy with the help of several structures inside it, each with a specific function. Stroma, a dense fluid inside the chloroplasts converts carbons dioxide to sugar. Thylakoid is a flat sac like membrane that converts the suns energy to chemical form. 

A single leaf has around 40 to 50 chloroplasts and it has around thousands of cells. The photosynthetic pigments present in plants allow them to absorb the sunlight which is required to start the process. The light produces or energises the electrons causing a higher energy state. This then results in conversion of energy from sun to chemical energy which provides food for the plant, oxygen to the others. 

The main function of chloroplast is to capture the light and integrate it into the process of photosynthesis.

Why is the photosynthesis important to understand?

While it may seem like it is simple process of converting energy of the sun to energy in plants / bacteria releasing the essential oxygen in earth, scents believe they have not completely comprehended the simple yet complicated process. They all agree that a more thorough and detail understanding of this will pave the way for harnessing the suns energy producing food and increasing the harvest in bounties. 

Do you know who or what is the smartest on this earth? The simplest yet powerful answer to this is Nature. Nature is self-sufficient, highly evolved, intelligent, the smartest, self-reliant and one which enables coexistence in this planet.  

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