An Overview of Photosynthesis

Plants require energy from food to carry out life processes like growth and reproduction. Plants produce their own food through a process called photosynthesis. During this process, plants use carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose and oxygen.

The process of photosynthesis is a chemical reaction, and it can be neatly summarized as follow:

carbon dioxide + water → glucose + oxygen

How is energy transferred during photosynthesis?

Energy is transferred from the sun to plants and then to animals through a food chain. During the process of photosynthesis, the plant’s leaves absorb the energy from the sunlight. This energy is then stored in the glucose that is a by-product of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis takes place mainly in the leaves of the plant, inside the chloroplasts in a palisade cell. What about carbohydrates?

The food that is produced by plants during the process of photosynthesis is made in the form of glucose sugar. Sugar is part of a group of chemicals called carbohydrates.

When plants produce more glucose than they can use right away, they store some of the glucose to use at a later stage. This stored glucose is used by the plant to grow and reproduce. Plants do not store glucose in its original form, because glucose is too soluble and it will disrupt the plant. Rather, the plant stores glucose in the form of starch – a different kind of carbohydrate. The starch molecule consists of thousands of glucose molecules joined together in a long chain. Starch molecules remain in the chloroplasts in the plant cell as insoluble grains, because they are too big to dissolve in water.

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