Photosynthesis and Energy Supply

Technical terms of photosynthesis

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Photosynthesis - Technical Terms

Phosphorylation - Adding phosphate to a molecule, e.g. ADP is phosphorylated to ATP

Photophosphorylation - Adding phosphate to a molecule using light

Photolysis - The splitting (lysis) of a molecule using light (photo) energy 

Hydrolysis - The splitting (lysis) of a molecule using water (hydro), e.g. ATP is hydrolysed to ADP 

Redox reactions - reactions that involve oxidation and reduction 

Reduced - It has gained electrons and may have gained hydrogen or lost oxygen

Oxidised - It has lost electrons and may have lost hydrogen or gained oxygen

OILRIG - Oxidation Is Loss, Reduction is Gain

Coenzyme - Molecule that aids the function of an enzyme, e.g. NADP

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Structure of a chloroplast

Chloroplasts are small, flattened organelles found in plant cells. 

Chloroplasts have a double membrane called the chloroplast envelope

Thylakoids (fluid-filled sacs) are stacked up in the chloroplasts into structures called grana (singular = granum). The grana are linked together by bits of thylakoid membrane called lamelle (singular = lamella).

Chloroplasts contain photosynthetic pigments (e.g. chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and carotene). These are coloured substances that absorb the light energy needed for photosynthesis. They are found in the thylakoid membranes attached to proteins. Together these create photosystems. 

There are two photosystems used by plants Photosystem II and Photosystem I. They absorb light at different wavelengths: 680nm and 700nm respectively. 

Contained within the inner membrane of the chloroplast and surrounding the thylakoids is a gel-like substance called the stroma. It contains enzymes, sugars, organic acids and oil droplets which store non-carbohydrate organic material. 

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