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Thread: Photosynthesis

  1. #1 Photosynthesis 
    Forum Freshman AskerFishAnswerBird's Avatar
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    I am interested in the photosynthesis processes. In particularly the roll that an individual plant cell has in the context of the process as it relates to the health of a whole organism.


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  3. #2  
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    Well the chloroplasts in the plant cell take in the energy from the sun (they act as natural solar panels). This helps keep the plant moving as plants are autotrophic. Then the mitochondrion (as a whole-every mitochondrion in the plant) takes in carbon dioxide in the air as well as water from the roots and through photosynthesis creates glucose and oxygen which is expelled from the plant.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    As a note, the glucose is synthesized through anabolic processes in the chloroplasts (where the water and CO2 are gathered), not the mitochondrions. The mitochondrions serve to break the glucose down into adenosinetriphosphate groups, which are used to power the various processes in the cell.
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    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    Technically speaking, the correct way to think about photosynthesis is to realise that the "photo" and the "synthesis" really refers to the harvesting of EM radiation and the use of that energy to form a proton gradient; the dissipation of that gradient is then coupled to ATP synthesis (and often to the synthesis of NADPH as well). It's all about energy transduction. Everything after that is just other stuff

    Because we're so higher plant-centric it's easy to forget that the fixation of CO2 is just one process among many that can be coupled to photosynthesis. Yet we always treat carbon-fixation as the end result of photosynthesis, when in reality it's ATP (and NADPH). The high school photosynthesis equation is probably in the top 10 of most misleading things learned in a biology class (right behind the central dogma/sequence hypothesis confusion).
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    Forum Freshman AskerFishAnswerBird's Avatar
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    You guys are awesome! These replies plus the other photosynthesis threads are really giving me a lot to take in. I certainly will never look at a plant the same way again! What do you all thing of the similarities between a plant cell and the combustion engine? I am looking at the very complex process of photosynthesis with a combined curiosity in H2O molecules and hydrogen fuel systems.
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