Photosynthesis - 1 In this unit of Biology 160 we are going to look at the energy transformations that take place to synthesize useful fuel molecules for living organisms, and then at the metabolic processes that cells have to burn (oxidize) fuel to make the ATP needed for all cell work. The majority of living organisms obtain their fuel molecules, directly or indirectly (recycled, so to speak) from the process of photosynthesis. The process of photosynthesis transforms light energy into chemical energy, and uses that energy to manufacture carbohydrate molecules, primarily glucose, and subsequently the other organic molecules needed for growth and development. In eukaryotic organisms, and in the Cyanobacteria, the process of photosynthesis also produces oxygen. The photosynthetic bacteria produce organic carbon molecules, but do not produce oxygen. We will discuss the primary photosynthetic processes of plants only. Organisms that obtain energy and carbon from their physical surroundings are
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