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C4 photosynthesis research

Photosynthesis in Plants

There are numerous species of plants all over the world.  Some have adapted to desert conditions while other have adapted to cold climates.  There are also plants that could only survive in cool, moist areas with adequate sunlight.  These differences in climatic conditions and ecosystems have resulted in different types of photosynthesis in plants.  The three types of photosynthesis are C3, C4 and CAM photosynthesis.

The definition of photosynthesis and the general equation can be found under Overview of Photosynthesis.

Plants perform photosynthesis because it generates the food and energy they need for growth and cellular respiration.  It is important to note that not all plants photosynthesize.  Some are parasites and simply attach themselves to other plants and feed from them.

For plants to perform photosynthesis they require light energy from the sun, water and carbon dioxide. Water is absorbed from the soil into the cells of roots.  The water passes from the root system to the xylem vessels in the stem until it reaches the leaves.  Carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere through pores in the leaves called stomata.  The leaves also contain chloroplasts which hold chlorophyll.  The sun’s energy is captured by the chlorophyll.

Leaves are essential for the well-being of plants.  Most of the reactions involved in the process of photosynthesis take place in the leaves.  The diagram below shows the cross section of a typical plant leaf.

Structure of Plant Leaves

“Leaf Tissue Structure”
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