How do plants obtain the reactants needed for photosynthesis?


Quick Answer

The reactants needed for photosynthesis are carbon dioxide and water; these are obtained through a combination of pores on leaves and root systems in the ground. These are eventually, through a process, turned into oxygen and glucose.

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Full Answer

The actual equation for photosynthesis is carbon dioxide plus water equals (in the presence of sun) a certain type of glucose and oxygen. It takes six molecules of carbon dioxide and six molecules of water to undergo a chemical process that, when added together with sunlight, transforms them to the equation: C6H12O6+6O2.

There are two separate reactions for this chemical change. The light dependent reaction is when the sunlight splits the water molecules apart (H2O being broken down to two hydrogen and one oxygen molecule) and carrier molecules store the hydrogen away for future use to make glucose for the plant. Sunlight energy is also used to change adenosine diphosphate to adenosine triphosphate (ADP to ATP).

At night, when the plant is light independent, is when the plant begins to take the carrier molecules and convert the hydrogen along with the ATP into glucose. The chemical formula for glucose is C6H12O6. This shows that the plant used hydrogen (from the carrier molecules that it was stored in during the day), carbon dioxide (absorption during the day and night contains carbon dioxide in the air) and oxygen molecules to make its glucose to store away for later energy.

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