Q:

Where in a plant does photosynthesis happen?

A:

Quick Answer

Photosynthesis occurs in plants and certain types of algae, in the structures known as chloroplasts. The leaves of a plant are the primary location where photosynthesis takes place, with very little occurring in the stems or branches.

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Full Answer

The mesophyll cells are part of the structure of a leaf. These cells contain chloroplasts and are where photosynthesis happens. A green pigment, known as chlorophyll, is specifically involved in photosynthesis. Part of the structure of a chloroplast is known as a thylakoid. The membrane of the thylakoid has chlorophyll built into it. Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light, while reflecting green light. This reflected light is what reaches the eyes, giving chlorophyll its green color.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the role of chlorophyll in photosynthesis?

    A:

    Chlorophyll is a pigment found in the chloroplasts of plants that absorbs the wavelengths of light required to convert water and carbon dioxide into chemical energy during photosynthesis. Molecules of chlorophyll are arranged around the photosystems embedded in the chloroplasts' thylakoid membranes. There can be several hundred chlorophyll molecules per photosystem.

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  • Q:

    Why don't onion cells have chloroplasts?

    A:

    Onion cells lack chloroplasts because the onion is part of the plant that is not involved in photosynthesis. The part of the plant eaten by humans is called the bulb, and it resides at the base of the plant. The bulb’s primary purpose is energy storage and holding the flower for the second growing season. Growing near the ground, the bulb is in poor position to collect sunlight.

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  • Q:

    Why is sunlight needed for photosynthesis?

    A:

    Sunlight is needed for photosynthesis because the solar energy is what is converted to chemical energy by the plant's chloroplasts. This energy is necessary for the production of glucose, which provides usable energy for the plant.

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  • Q:

    When does photosynthesis occur?

    A:

    Photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert the sun's energy to glucose, takes place during daylight hours when the plant's leaves are exposed to sunlight. This process only occurs in green plants and in some protist species. Carbon dioxide and water must also be present in order for photosynthesis to occur.

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