Photosynthetic pigments

An overview of the pgiments used in phtosythesis.

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How light arrives at the plant

  • As sunlight falls on the plant, some wavelengths are absorbed. The others are reflected/transmitted.
  • Pattern of absorption/reflection: dependent on the pigments.
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Chlorophyll and other photosynthetic pigments.

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How chlorophyll harnesses energy from sunlight

  • Light harnessed by a photosynthetic pigment behaves as PHOTON PARTICLES.
  • A QUANTUM is the fixed amount of energy that a photon contains.
  • The shorter the wavelength the larger the photon.
  • When a photon is absorbed the pigment's electrons gain energy, and are raised to a higher energy level. This makes the molecule very unstable.
  • In a chloroplast the energy is passed to a PRIMARY ACCEPTOR MOLECULE.
  • Molecule: reduced. Chlorophyll: oxidised.
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Arrangement of pigments in the chloroplast.

  • Pigments clustered in the thykaloid membranes.
  • Cluster called an ANTENNA COMPLEX.
  • Light energy is channeled to just one molecule of chlorophyll a.
  • Chlorophyll a and primary acceptor molecule: REACTION CENTRE.
  • Reaction centre + light gathering molecules = photosystem.
  • Photosystem 1 = P700. Chlorophyll a's maximum absorption.
  • Photosystem 2 = P680.
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