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The Process of Photosynthesis

By: Logan Riddle

Preface: This book was created for dedicated to future high school students that are in my class. I created this book with hopes that they will be able use this book as a resource to help them study and learn the complex process of Photosynthesis.


Meet the Author Hello! My name is Logan Riddle. I am an undergraduate at Indiana University studying biology secondary education.  I hope to one day become a freshman biology teacher. This book was inspired to be written by my love for plants and the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a very complex process that is usually a challenging topic for students due to the large amount of information and parts that go along with it. There are several different parts to the process and not all plants are the same. I created this book with the hopes of making the process of photosynthesis a much simpler process for students to understand. This eBook discusses the following standard: SCI.B.3.1 2010 Describe how some organisms capture the sun’s energy through the process of photosynthesis by converting carbon dioxide and water into high-energy compounds and releasing oxygen ii

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION Photosynthesis is the process used by plants that converts light energy from the sun to make sugar and oxygen. The only products plants need in order to complete this process and make sugar are light energy, CO2 and H2O.


Introduction to Photosynthesis Video:

This video is a helpful resource when learning the overview of the process of photosynthesis.

Please watch this five minute video. Created By: Khan Academy 4

Discovery of Photosynthesis: Click on the pictures to find out about each scientist and their discoveries.

The discovery of photosynthesis cannot be awarded to one single scientist. Rather, for the process of photosynthesis, five scientists are awarded for the discovery of this process. 5

Why is Photosynthesis Important? Double click the images to find out more!

In a way, we can say photosynthesis is an ultimate source of life.


Where does it take place?

Above is an image of a leaf, its cross-section image, and a zoomed in image of the chloroplast. The chloroplast is where photosynthesis takes place. 7



Although photosynthesis takes place in the chloroplast, it specifically uses chlorophyll. The chloroplast contains a green substance called chlorophyll, which absorbs the light energy for photosynthesis. Chlorophyll looks green because it absorbs red and blue lights. That means these are the colors not seen by human eyes. The green

light is not absorbed by the chlorophyll which leads the humans eyes to see a green color in the leaves of plants. Since green light is not absorbed by the leaf, it is the red and blue light energy that takes part in the process of photosynthesis.



Photosynthesis: The Reaction Materials Needed

Above is the general formula for Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water while creating sugar and oxygen. While plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, humans do the opposite; inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Along with these materials, the plants needs photons. These photons are going to become excited and travel through the electron transport chain during the process of photosynthesis. 9

Review 2.1: Materials Involved Review

Which of the following are materials used and produced in the process of photosynthesis?

A. Water, Carbon Dioxide, Sugar B. Water, Carbon Monoxide, Sugar C. Sugar, Carbon Monoxide, Glucose D. None of the above

Check Answer


The Light Reaction

These plants use two photosystems(I and II) to complete photosynthesis. Photosystem II is the first system used in photosynthesis. The enzyme from the plant capture photons of the light in order to energize electrons. These energized electrons are then replaced by oxidizing water in order to form hydrogen ions.  transferred through photosystem II. These hydrogen ions create a proton gradient to generate ATP. ATP is the main product produced in photosystem II.

Although plants need light energy to begin the process of photosynthesis, there are two different types of photosynthesis processes: light reaction and dark reaction.

The electrons then go through the electron transport chain and to photosystem I. Photosystem I, which creates NADPH as a final product. Photosystem I and II are very similar with the ways the electrons travel through them

The light reactions are the plants that use the sunlight for photosynthesis and they are depended on photons. For these plants, the reaction takes place in the thylakoid membrane.


Review 2.2 Light Reactions Review

In light reaction plants, where does the reaction take place?

A. Nucleus B. Cell Wall C. Thylakoid Membrane D. Chloroplast

Check Answer


Difference Between PsI and PsII Interactive 2.1 Photosystem I and Photosystem II

Here, PSI has generated NADPH.

Here PSII has generated ATP

The major difference between the two photosystem complexes are their final products they create. PsII creates ATP for plants, where PsI generates NADPH.



Dark Reactions The other type of plant, C4 plants reactions are dark reactions. These plants differ from light reaction plants because these do not depend on photons in order to complete photosynthesis. These reactions occur in the parts of the chloroplast known as the stroma. The purpose of this reaction is to take energy from ATP and energize electrons and hydrogen ions from NADPH and add them to CO2 to make sugar.


Review 2.3 Dark Reactions

In dark reaction plants, where does the reaction take place?

A. Chlorophyll B. Cell Wall C. Thylakoid Membrane D. Stroma

Check Answer


Calvin Cycle Rather than using the photosystems, these plants use a cycle called the Calvin Cycle. The first stage of this cycle is an enzyme called Rubisco attaches carbon to RuBP. Then, NADPH and ATP convert 3-PGA to G3P and lastly 5 G3P and 3 ATP regenerate 3 RuBP.


Click on the image below in order to practice the Calvin Cycle.

Interactive 2.2 Calvin Cycle


! ! ! ! Light Vs. Dark Reactions ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Summary Review 2.4 Light and Dark Reactions

What are the names of the cycles the light and dark reactions go through?

Light reactions depend on the photons from sunlight whereas dark reactions do not. They do not need these photons, which is why they are called dark reactions even though they take place during the day. Light reactions use photosystems I and II. Photosystem II creates ATP and photosystem I generates NADPH. These reactions take place in the thylakoid membrane. Dark reactions use the Calvin Cycle. This cycle takes place in the stroma of the chloroplast and uses Rubisco to create PGA, G3P in order to create ATP and RuBP.

A. Electron Transport Chain and PSI B. Electron Transport Chain and Calvin Cycle C. Calvin Cycle and PSI D. PSI and PSII

Check Answer



Putting it all Together Interactive 3.1 Photosynthesis All Together

Overall, photosynthesis is a very complex concept that is necessary for everyday life. Without photosynthesis, humans would not have oxygen to breath. Plants should be man's best friends. 19

SOURCES: Intro Page Image- 3/28/14: htm

The Reaction Page- 4/1/14

Video’s Credited to Khan Academy-3/28/14

Light Reaction Page- 3/20/12

Discovery Page-4/12/14:

Difference Between Photosystems Page- 4/14/14:

Dark Reactions Page- 4/14/14

Why is Photosynthesis Important page- 4/12/14: %20plants logy/pages/photosynthesis_in_action.aspx

Calvin Cycle Page- 4/14/14

Animation- 4/15/14

Where does it take place?- 3/20/14 /s2/


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