Photosynthesis - Definition, Formula, Process, Diagram

Photosynthesis - Definition, Formula, Process, Diagram

Photosynthesis converts light energy by phototrophs into chemical energy, then used for cellular power activities. Sugars, which are formed from water and carbon dioxide, are used to store chemical energy.

Plants, algae, and certain bacteria use photosynthesis to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2), and water into food (sugars) and oxygen.

Plants require food to breathe, grow, and replicate. Plants, unlike animals, can produce their food through the process of photosynthesis. Plants need carbon dioxide (from the air), water (from the ground), and light to perform photosynthesis (usually from the sun).

Plants have pigments that absorb the light energy required for photosynthesis. Different pigments react to visible light at different wavelengths. Chlorophyll, the primary pigment used in photosynthesis, reflects green light while strongly absorbing red and blue light. Chlorophyll is also responsible for the plant's green color. Photosynthesis occurs in chloroplasts, which contain chlorophyll, in plants.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) from the air and soil during photosynthesis. Water is oxidized within the plant cell, which means it loses electrons, whereas carbon dioxide is reduced, which means it gains electrons. This converts water to oxygen and carbon dioxide to glucose. The plant then returns the oxygen to the atmosphere while storing energy within the glucose molecules.

The photosynthesis equation is:- 

6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2.

Types of photosynthetic processes:-

Oxygenic photosynthesis and anoxygenic photosynthesis are the two types of photosynthetic processes. They both work on the same principles, but oxygenic photosynthesis is the most common in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

Oxygenic photosynthesis is how certain photoautotrophs convert light energy to chemical energy by producing molecular oxygen.

The oxygenic photosynthesis equation is:- 

6CO2 + 12H2O + Light Energy → C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O

On the other hand, Anoxygenic photosynthesis is how certain bacteria convert light energy to chemical energy without producing molecular oxygen.

The oxygenic photosynthesis equation is:- 

CO2 + 2H2A + Light Energy → (CH2O) + 2A + H2O

Importance of photosynthesis:-

The importance of photosynthesis in the survival of life on Earth cannot be overstated. Photosynthesis is the most basic life process for nearly all plants and animals. It provides the energy that powers all of their metabolic functions and the oxygen required for respiration. If photosynthesis ceased, the Earth would soon be devoid of food and other organic matter. Most organisms would die, and the Earth's atmosphere would eventually be nearly empty of gaseous oxygen. The only organisms that can survive in such conditions are chemosynthetic bacteria, which can use the chemical energy of certain inorganic compounds and thus are not dependent on light energy conversion.

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