How plants make food
Photosynthesis captures energy for life on Earth. Many chemicals are made to allow life processes to occur in plants. These chemicals can move in and out of cells by the process of diffusion. Osmosis is a specific type of diffusion.
Photosynthesis is a process used by plants in which energy from sunlight is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into molecules needed for growth. These molecules include sugars, enzymes and chlorophyll.
Light energy is absorbed by the green chemical chlorophyll. This energy allows the production of glucose by the reaction between carbon dioxide and water. Oxygen is also produced as a waste product.
This reaction can be summarised in the word equation:
Carbon dioxide + water glucose + oxygen
The chemical equation for photosynthesis is:
6CO2 + 6H2O C6H12O6 + 6O2
Glucose is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Glucose made by the process of photosynthesis may be used in three ways:
Plants cells contain a number of structures that are involved in the process of photosynthesis:
Chloroplasts - containing chlorophyll and enzymes needed for reactions in photosynthesis.
Nucleus - containing DNA carrying the genetic code for enzymes and other proteins used in photosynthesis
Cell membrane - allowing gas and water to pass in and out of the cell while controlling the passage of other molecules
Vacuole - containing cell sap to keep the cell turgid
Cell wall - strengthens the cell
Cytoplasm - enzymes and other proteins used in photosynthesis made here
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