Use of glucose made by photosynthesis

Energy source

Glucose can used as a substrate and broken down in plant cells by the process of respiration. The chemical energy released by respiration can be used by the plant for cellular activities such as protein synthesis or cell division.

Plant energy storage

Thousands of glucose molecules can be linked together to form the complex carbohydrate starch. Starch is stored inside plant cells as grains.

Plant building material

Thousands of glucose molecules can be linked together to form the complex carbohydrate cellulose. Cellulose is a very tough molecule that is used to build the cell wall of plant cells.

Production of other types of food

Glucose is an example of a carbohydrate - it contains the chemical elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Plant cells can convert the sugar into another type of energy storage molecule - fat.

Plant cells can also combine sugars with nitrates to make amino acids and use these to produce proteins.

Microfibril structure of a plant cell
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