Q:

What is the purpose of photosynthesis?

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Quick Answer

Photosynthesis is a process that allows plants to harvest energy in sunlight and store it chemically, by producing sugars. Sugars hold energy in their molecular bonds; when the plant breaks down these bonds, energy is released that the organism can then use. Although green plants are the most famous photosynthesizing organisms, some bacteria, algae and protists carry out the process as well.

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What is the purpose of photosynthesis?
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Full Answer

In plants, photosynthesis takes place in small organelles found in some of the plant’s cells, called chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are most numerous in the cells that make up the plant’s leaves, although the stems and sepals may also contain small numbers of the organelles. Chloroplasts combine carbon dioxide and water with sunlight to produce the storage sugars. In the process, the plants produce oxygen and release a small amount of the water they absorbed.

Photosynthesis enables most aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to persist. All of the planet’s ecosystems require an influx of energy. While a few species of bacteria may harvest the energy of chemical bonds and some deep-sea organisms obtain energy from thermal gradients found around geothermal vents, green plants capture sunlight and use it as an energy source. Through the synthesis of sugars, plants become food for the animals. Accordingly, scientists often refer to plants as producers, while animals are consumers.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the correct balanced equation for photosynthesis?

    A:

    The correctly balanced equation for the process of photosynthesis is written as follows: 6H2O + 6CO2 + sunlight energy ---> C6H12O6 + 6O2. During this process, plants use carbon dioxide, water and light energy to produce oxygen and glucose.

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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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  • Q:

    What is an explanation of photosynthesis for kids?

    A:

    Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to convert the energy in sunlight into food that they use for energy. In order to carry out photosynthesis, plants need not only sunlight but also water and carbon dioxide. The food they make is called glucose, which is a simple sugar.

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  • Q:

    What are some fun and interesting facts about plants?

    A:

    All plants contain a green pigment known as chlorophyll, all plants create energy from sunlight using a process known as photosynthesis, and all plants contain material called cellulose, which creates their cell walls. There are about 260,000 known species of plants in the world as of 2015.

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