Chloroplasts, Chlorophyll and factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis

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  • Chloroplasts, Chlorophyll and factors effecting photosynthesis
    • Chloroplasts
      • Photosynthesis takes place entirely within chloroplasts
      • They have a double membrane like mitochondria but have an extra one called the thylakoid membrane which is folded into vessels enclosing small spaces.
      • Chloroplasts contain DNA, tRNA and ribosomes and they often store the products of photosynthesis as starch grains and lipid droplets
    • Chlorophyll
      • Contain 2 types of chlorophyll; chlorophyll a and b along with a number of light absorbing accessories.
      • They absorb light at different pigments so having several allows more of the visible spectrum to be used
      • Different plants have different combinations of photosynthetic pigments = different colour leaves
      • Chlorophyll is a small molecule arranged in complex proteins called photosystems
      • Photosystem one and two absorb different wave lengths of light
    • Factors affecting photosynthesis
      • Temperature - affects the rate of enzyme reactions so the rate of photosynthesis. Sensitive to temperature with an optimum of about 30-35 degrees Celsius
      • Carbon Dioxide concentration - CO2 is the substrate for the enzyme rubisco so higher the CO2 the higher the rate of the Calvin cycle.
      • Light intensity - source of energy for the production of ATP and NADPH in the light independent stages, so higher the light intensity the faster the rate of photosynthesi
        • Shade plants have a lower optimum intensity where as sun plants have a higher optimum intensity.


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