What is photosynthesis in plants? We explain it …

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What is the process of photosynthesis in plants and what are its phases?

What is photosynthesis used for? Where does this plant reaction take place and what is its process? You have surely asked yourself these questions more than once and even today you are not entirely clear. Don’t worry, in this article we’ll try to answer, explained in a way that is easy to understand even if you haven’t studied chemistry.

⚠️ Definition and meaning of photosynthesis

The word photosynthesis comes from the Greek, and is composed of 2 terms, “photo” which means light and synthesis which means composition, or the sum of the elements that make up a whole, therefore its meaning would come to be something like the composition obtained through light.

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👾 What is photosynthesis?

We could summarize that the photosynthesis is the metabolic process by which plants manage to synthesize food through the use of light. During this reaction, inorganic material is transformed into organic material with light and oxygen is released as a by-product.

In this way, plants and other organisms feed on their own, in a mechanism known as autotrophic nutrition, and the process can be mainly divided into 2 parts, the light phase and the dark or night phase of photosynthesis.

🧐 Phases of photosynthesis

The reactions that take place during photosynthesis are different depending on whether the plants are exposed to light or lack it. It must be said that autoflowering cannabis plants do not work the same way as photo-dependent plants in this regard.

Light phase of photosynthesis

During the diurnal cycle, or light phase of photosynthesis, light reaches the chloroplasts found in the leaves of plants, where chlorophylls and carotenoids are responsible for its transformation into chemical energy through the dissociation of water molecules.

In this way, oxygen remains on the one hand, which is released into the atmosphere, and on the other hand, hydrogen, which will eventually turn into another molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is energy that accumulates and is then used. by the plant during the nocturnal phase.

Dark phase of photosynthesis

The dark phase of photosynthesis is so called because it does not need light to perform its functions, but it doesn’t have to be at night . During this phase, the plant consumes the CO2 and the energy accumulated in the form of ATP during the light phase of photosynthesis.

This process is essential to formation of sugars, because part of the CO2 is converted into carbohydrates, also producing glucose, sucrose and starch. This cycle is also known as the second phase of photosynthesis.

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🎯 What is photosynthesis used for?

The importance of photosynthesis is crucial for the life of the planet, in the first place it helps plants to feed themselves, because through this process they can convert inorganic matter into food. From a human point of view, photosynthesis is used to purify the atmosphere of carbon dioxide, and especially to provide oxygen that we need to breathe.

We could say that thanks to the oxygenated photosynthesis carried out by plants, algae and other organisms, gas balance and food on the planet is maintained, which is why it is one of the most important acts of nature.

🔥 Photosynthesis formula explained

6 CO2 + 6H2O> C6H12O6 + 6 O2

It’s here photosynthesis formula, so simple and complex at the same time, but for people who have no chemical basis, it can be difficult to understand, so you can see the following explanation to better understand the reaction:

photosynthesis formula
photosynthesis formula

Through the light absorbed by chlorophyll and other components of the leaves of plants and other organisms, carbon dioxide and water are converted into glucose which serves as food and oxygen is released in the air.

✅ Where does photosynthesis take place?

This reaction occurs in chloroplasts, which are green polymorphic structures located in the plant leaves. The light phase of photosynthesis takes place in the thylakoid membrane and the dark phase in the stroma, both areas are located inside the chloroplasts.

🚀 Photosynthesis and cellular respiration, comparison

It is not the same, even if one could say that cellular respiration is part of one of the phases of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses light to turn carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates such as sugars, releasing oxygen secondarily.

Cellular respiration refers to the process in which oxygen and produced carbohydrates are converted into energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) During this phase, ATP energy is used to create metabolic reactions, while carbon dioxide leaves the cell and is then eliminated.

📖 Are there more types of photosynthesis?

In nature, there are many different species that carry out this process in one way or another, plants, algae, bacteria and even animals that carry out photosynthesis. Obviously, not all organisms work the same, but this chemical reaction can be divided into 2 types, oxygenated and anoxygenic.

Oxygenated photosynthesis

This is the most common, that carried out by marijuana plants, as well as other plants, algae and even cyanobacteria. As indicated by his name, it refers to the one that releases oxygen as a byproduct of the chemical reaction which occurs after processing carbon dioxide and water to take advantage of sugars.

Anoxygenic photosynthesis

It is less common, because it is carried out by only one type of bacteria, and the most curious is that his reaction releases sulfur instead of oxygen, which is why it is anoxygenic. Instead of water, these bacteria treat hydrogen sulfide or other inorganic molecules as an electron donor.

Infographic where you can see the actions that the plant performs during the light and dark phases of photosynthesis *
Infographic where you can see the actions that the plant performs during the light and dark phases of photosynthesis *

✨ What elements does the plant need to carry out photosynthesis?

Several essential elements are involved in this process: the light, water, carbon dioxide and chlorophylls. The needs of these elements are proportional, and to assimilate a greater quantity of CO2, it is necessary that there is more light and water. Temperature is another factor in the process of photosynthesis, to match the health of plants.

Normally, the higher the concentration of CO2 in the air, the greater the ability to photosynthesize, but as I said earlier, this has to come with more exposure to light and more water, otherwise the excess carbon dioxide would not be used up.

In the environment, there is usually a concentration between 300 and 400 PPM (parts per million) of CO2, but cannabis plants can perfectly assimilate up to 1500 PPM or more. When increased to this concentration, plants can also take in much more light and food, resulting in higher production.

⛳ Curiosities of photosynthesis

This magical process did not begin in plants until much earlier, as it is believed to have originated in the Precambrian period, that is, more than 3,800 million years ago, when plants and animals did not yet exist on the planet.

The ability to synthesize food using energy from the sun began with a group of bacteria called cyanobacteria. Many years later, these organisms began to live in symbiosis with primary plants, such as moss or ferns, and little by little new plant species began to emerge.

This development has not yet stopped, and today new forms of symbiosis between these cyanobacteria and many types of plants, animals and even fungi.

⭐ Conclusion

Photosynthesis is one of the most important processes on earth and certainly the key to the development of life on this planet from water. Now that you know how it is produced and its importance, remember to keep your plants green, because chlorophyll is responsible for this pigmentation, and essential to be able to carry out this process.

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Fran Quesada Moya

Fran Quesada Moya

Pevgrow editor, cannabis activist and fanatic in all its fields, especially the breeding and development of new strains.
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