CONCEPTS

What is photosynthesis?

We explain what photosynthesis is and what are the stages of this metabolic process. Also, why photosynthesis is so important.

  1. What is photosynthesis?

The  photosynthesis  is a unique metabolic process that perform certain cells of those organisms autotrophic able to make their own organic material with inorganic substances to the use energy provided by the sunlight . The word photosynthesis has a Greek origin, in which ” photo ” means light, and ” synthesis ” means composition.

Photosynthesis is, then, the process that plants use to produce their food . In addition to using it for food , plants and trees use them to grow and develop. The main substance that is needed to perform photosynthesis is the known chlorophyll – that green substance found in all the leaves.

Some algae as well as some bacteria also have chlorophyll. It is important in this process, since it has the function of absorbing the necessary light and then converting it into chemical energy . We could say that the majority of the energy consumed by the earth’s biosphere comes from the process of photosynthesis.

  1. Stages of photosynthesis

Photosynthesis
The leaves that are in the direction of the light are the ones that will absorb the sunlight.

Photosynthesis is usually divided into two stages.

  • The first stage refers to light dependent and temperature independent reactions.
  • In contrast, in the second stage, the reactions are temperature dependent and independent of light.

The plant feeding process is summarized as follows:

  • Absorption : First, the roots of the plants have the function of absorbing water and minerals found in the earth. The roots grow towards the places where the greatest amount of water is found.
  • Circulation : Once the minerals and water are absorbed, they must circulate until they reach the leaves by means of plant stems.
  • Photosynthesis : Those leaves that are in the direction of light are the ones that will absorb the light. Sunlight along with carbon dioxide can transform the raw sap into processed sap, which will be the food of the plant. In turn, the plant has the fundamental capacity to produce oxygen that will be expelled through the leaves.
  • Breathing : Plants breathe day and night, and they do it in the same way as animals. That is, inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. When it is night and they cannot absorb light to perform photosynthesis, they only perform breathing . This process is done through the leaves and some green stems.
  1. Why is photosynthesis important?

Photosynthesis is essential for the Earth because it is what allows plants to generate oxygen and, as we said before, all human beings  need it to be able to breathe. In turn, plants are able to consume toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, and thus be able to remove them from the ecosystem . As well as, the energy stored in fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – depends on the process of photosynthesis.

Another reason why it is of total importance for the biosphere is because the synthesis of organic matter is made from inorganic matter. This will pass from some living beings to others through the trophic chains and then transform into their own matter through the different living beings. Finally, we can affirm that the main reason why there is the diversity of life on Earth is because of the process of photosynthesis.

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