Session 8 (Energy from Sunlight)

Session 8 (Energy from Sunlight) - MCB 181 Study Session 8...

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MCB 181 Study Session 8 (Energy from Sunlight)
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Learning Goals for Study Session 8 (Energy from Sunlight) Be able to define the terms autotroph, heterotroph, producer, consumer, decomposer, action and absorption spectra. Briefly describe the impact that photosynthesis has on our biological and non-biological worlds. Describe what happens when a photon of sufficient energy is absorbed by a pigment molecule. Distinguish between photosystems I and II in relation to their roles in the photo reactions. Be able to compare and contrast the role of the proton motive force in photophosphorylation with oxidative phosphorylation. Briefly describe the general strategy of the Calvin-Benson Cycle indicating where in the cycle ATP and NADPH are used. Discuss what is meant by the oxygenase problem with Rubisco and how C4 and CAM plants have adapted because of this problem. Be able to compare and contrast photosynthesis and cellular respiration with respect to how energy is stored or released, and their efficiencies of energy transfer.
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Photosynthesis converts radiant energy in sunlight to chemical energy required for organisms to live. Most organisms are unable to make their own food and as heterotrophs (other feeding) they obtain carbon compounds for their source of energy by eating other organisms. Photosynthetic organisms like plants are autotrophs (self feeding) that use energy in sunlight to make their own food from CO 2 , H 2 O and minerals. Autotrophs as producers are the ultimate source of carbon skeletons and chemical energy for the consumers (e.g. animals) and decomposers (e.g. bacteria and fungi) that also inhabit the Earth’s biosphere. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, certain members of the Kingdom Protista, and in some prokaryotes. In this study session we focus on the process of photosynthesis as conducted by those plants commonly found in our surroundings.
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Photosynthesis meets both our biological and non-biological thirst for energy! Photosynthesis is the source of food (reduced carbon compounds for energy) for most living organisms. It is the source of oxygen for the planet Earth. The energy in fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and oil) was conserved from sunlight by the process of photosynthesis that occurred in organisms that lived a few hundred million years ago. Hence, we use energy that first came to Earth as sunlight millions of years ago to run our automobile engines, heat/cool homes, charge batteries for cell phones and to provide electricity for many other uses. We engage in political struggles over these valuable geological deposits that are the products of ancient photosynthesis. All of these are reasons why it is important to understand how photosynthesis conserves energy from sunlight for use by plants, animals and virtually all living things on this planet.
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sunlight (energy) 6CO 2 + 12H 2 O ---------> C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 + 6H 2 O The overall reaction for photosynthesis
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Session 8 (Energy from Sunlight) - MCB 181 Study Session 8...

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