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Education Standards (2)

Photosynthesis Introduction Resources

Photosynthesis Introduction Resources


Virtually all life on Earth depends on Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses energy in sunlight to form organic molecules such as glucose.  This transformation of light energy to chemical energy provides fuel for the metabolic processes in all organisms.  Photosynthesis also produces oxygen required for aerobic cellular respiration. This chapter covers light energy as part of the electromagnetic spectrum, basic structures involved in photosynthesis and the metabolic pathways of photosynthesis divided into the light-dependent reactions and the Calvin cycle.

Learning Objectives

  • Summarize the overall organization of the chemical pathways involved in photosynthesis and how these pathways accomplish the conversion of light energy into chemical bond energy.
  • Describe the process of energy transfer from its source (the sun) through biological systems.
  • Explain how energy moves through an ecosystem.
  • Describe the relationship between life forms and their environment and ecosystems.)
  • Describe the principles of energy transformations through membrane embedded electron transport chains. 
  • Describe the enzymatic basis of the mechanisms that living organisms use to harvest energy. 

Recommended Textbook Resources

Chapter 8: PhotosynthesisBiology 2e OpenStax Book Cover

OpenStax Biology 2e

Chapter 8, Photosynthesis.  In plants, photosynthesis occurs in chloroplasts where pigment molecules absorb energy from wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum.  The light-dependent reactions form ATP and the reduced electron carrier NADPH  that are used in the Calvin cycle to produce organic molecules.