Overview Of Photosynthesis

Figure 6-2 shows how autotrophs use photosynthesis to produce organic compounds from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. The oxygen (O2) and some of the organic compounds produced are then used by cells in a process called cellular respiration. During cellular respiration, CO2 and water are produced. Thus, the products of photosynthesis are reactants in cellular respiration. Conversely, the products of cellular respiration are reactants in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis can be divided into two stages:

1. Light Reactions Light energy (absorbed from the sun) is converted to chemical energy, which is temporarily stored in ATP and the energy carrier molecule NADPH.

2. Calvin Cycle Organic compounds are formed using CO2 and the chemical energy stored in ATP and NADPH.

Photosynthesis can be summarized by the following equation:

6CO2 + 6H2O "ght e"e;gy C6H12O6 + 6O2

This equation, however, does not explain how photosynthesis occurs. It is helpful to examine the two stages separately in order to better understand the overall process of photosynthesis.

figure 6-3

Photosynthesis in eukaryotes occurs inside the chloroplast. The light reactions of photosynthesis take place in the thylakoids, which are stacked to form grana.

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