Photosynthesis

Definition - What does Photosynthesis mean?

Photosynthesis is the process utilized by plants to convert sunlight (or artificial light) into chemical energy in order to fuel energy transformation. The energy, which can be in the form of sugar, is stored in carbohydrate molecules and converted into water and carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is mainly performed by species with a green pigment called chlorophyll.

WineFrog explains Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis does not only occur in plants, but also other living organisms including cyanobacteria (among other bacteria), and algae. These organisms are called photautotrophs. This means they have the ability to make food using energy from light, forming carbon dioxide and water. They have the ability to have long-term storage thanks to the sugars that are produced by a sequence of light-independent reactions, called the Calvin cycle.

Photosynthesis is an important cycle which has a large impact on maintaining and producing the Earth's atmospheric oxygen content. It also supplies the most energy pertinent to life on the planet.

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