Just to get you in the mood to study and learn about photosynthesis. Visit the link below (by They Might be Giants):
Now, didn't that make you want to get up and dance? Well too bad! It's time to cram unnecessarily difficult material into your head.
Here are some of the more important vocab words you need to know to understand the chapter:
  • Photosynthesis-The process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. It generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.
  • Autotrophs (chemo and photo)-An organism that is able to form nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide
  • Heterotrophs (chemo and photo)-An organism deriving its nutritional requirements from complex organic substances.
  • C3 plants-A plant that uses the Calvin cycle for the initial steps that incorporate CO2 into organic material, forming a 3-carbon compound.
  • C4 Plants-A plant that uses the Calvin cycle before reactions that incorporate CO2 and into a 4-carbon compound, the end product CO2 for the Calvin cycle.
  • CAM (Crassulacean acid metabolism) plants- use Crassulacean acid metabolism, as an adaptation in arid dry climates. In this process, the stomata of the plant open only at night, to avoid water loss, and close during the day so the Calvin cycle can do its thing.
Parts of plant:
  • Chlorophyll-Green pigment
  • Mesophyll-The inner tissue of a leaf
  • Stomata-Any of the minute pores in the epidermis of the leaf or stem of a plant, forming a slit of variable width that allows movement of gases in and out of the intercellular spaces.
  • Stroma- Within the chloroplast, the dense fluid of the chloroplast surrounding the thylakoid membrane.
  • Thylakoid-A flattened membranous sac inside a chloroplast.
Processes,systems, and cycles:
  • Photophosphorylation-The production of ATP using the energy of sunlight.
  • Carbon fixation-any process through which gaseous carbon dioxide is converted into a solid compound.
  • Light reactions-In this process light energy is converted into chemical energy, in the form of the energy-carriers ATP and NADPH.
  • Dark reactions (or the Calvin cycle)- a series of biochemical reactions that take place in the stroma of chloroplasts in photosynthetic organisms.
  • Photosystems (I and II)- Light capturing units in a cloroplast's thylakoid membrane, consisting of a reaction-center complex surrounded by many light harvesting complexes. Both absorb light at different wavelengths.
  • Cyclic electron flow-A route of electron flow during the light reactions of photosynthesis that involves only Photosystem I and produces ATP but not NADPH or O2.
  • Photorespiration-Generally occurs on hot,dry days when stomata close and the oxygen concentration leaf is greater than the level of CO2.
All Definitions can be found on dictionary.com or in the back of your AP Biology textbook.

Below is an example of light reactions
gggggggggggggPhotosystem IIggggggggggggPhotosystem I
Vocabulary words for this chapter can be studied with this neat flashcard link!

Summary of Key Concepts

10.1 The conversion of light energy in photosynthesis, results in chemical energy in food.
10.2 The results of converting light energy to chemical energy are ATP and NADPH.
10.3 Through the use of the Calvin Cycle, ATP and NADPH, can be converted to CO2.
10.4 Photorespiration is the ending result of carbon fixation being absent, due to hot, arid climates.


Summary of chapter

Through the process of photosynthesis, light energy is converted into organic compounds (Oxygen and sugar). Water goes through photosystem II and l, where the Hydrogen continues to the Calvin cycle, and the O2 is released into the environment; giving living organisms the gift of air. Carbon Dioxide is absorbed, through the stomata, into the cell. Then, Carbon Dioxide goes through the Calvin cycle and exports Sucrose, or sugar. Carbon Dioxide enters through the stomata and Oxygen in return is released into the environment. Water absorbed by the roots is delivered to the leaves in veins.


Test your knowledge so far with a fun quiz: