Govindjee Department of Plant Biology, Department of Biochemistry, and Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
Blankenship, Robert E. Department of Chemistry, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Berkowitz, Gerald A. Institute for Photobiology of Cells and Organelles, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.
Portis, Jr., Archie R. Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
Shopes, R. J. Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois.
Last reviewed:March 2019
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- Oxygenic photosynthesis
- Temporal phases of photosynthesis
- Sites of photosynthesis
- Two photosystems
- Accessory antenna pigments
- Carbon dioxide fixation
- C3 photosynthesis
- C4 photosynthesis
- Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis
- Bacterial photosynthesis
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The synthesis of chemical compounds using light, especially the manufacture of organic compounds (primarily carbohydrates) from carbon dioxide and a hydrogen source (such as water), most often with simultaneous liberation of oxygen, by chlorophyll- or bacteriochlorophyll-containing cells. The term photosynthesis is used almost exclusively to designate one particularly important natural process: the use of light in the manufacture of organic compounds (primarily certain carbohydrates) from inorganic materials by chlorophyll- or bacteriochlorophyll-containing cells (Fig. 1). This process requires a supply of energy in the form of light because its products contain much more chemical energy than its raw materials. This is clearly shown by the liberation of energy in the reverse process, namely the combustion of organic material with oxygen, which takes place during respiration. See also: Carbohydrate; Chlorophyll; Energy metabolism; Plant respiration; Respiration
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