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Science

Leaves and photosynthesis

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Photosynthetic pigments - Higher tier

Plants use more than one photosynthetic pigment to absorb light. This maximises the use of energy from the Sun. These pigments include:

  • Chlorophyll a
  • Chlorophyll b
  • Xanthophyll
  • Carotene

Chlorophyll a is the main pigment. It absorbs light mainly in the red and blue regions of the spectrum.

Chlorophyll b, xanthophyllxanthophyll: A yellow pigment responsible for the colour seen in autumn leaves. and carotene are 'accessory pigments'. They absorb light from other regions of the spectrum and pass the energy onto chlorophyll a.

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