In step ©, each molecule of 3-PGA is converted into another three-carbon molecule, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (G3P), in a two-part process. First, each 3-PGA molecule receives a phosphate group from a molecule of ATP. The resulting compound then receives a proton (H+) from NADPH and releases a phosphate group, producing G3P. The ADP, NADP+, and phosphate that are also produced can be used again in the light reactions to make more ATP and NADPH.

In step ©, one of the G3P molecules leaves the Calvin cycle and is used to make organic compounds (carbohydrates) in which energy is stored for later use.

In step ©, the remaining G3P molecules are converted back into RuBP through the addition of phosphate groups from ATP molecules. The resulting RuBP molecules then enter the Calvin cycle again.

The Calvin cycle (named for Melvin Calvin, the American biochemist who worked out the chemical reactions in the cycle) is the most common pathway for carbon fixation. Plant species that fix carbon exclusively through the Calvin cycle are known as C3 plants because of the three-carbon compound that is initially formed in this process.

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