Carbon Photoassimilation and Photosynthate Partitioning in Plants

Authored by: Carlos M. Figueroa , Claudia V. Piattoni , Karina E.J. Trípodi , Florencio E. Podestá , Alberto A. Iglesias

Handbook of Photosynthesis

Print publication date:  March  2016
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482230734
eBook ISBN: 9781482230758
Adobe ISBN:


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The photosynthetic process involves the use of sunlight energy to convert (reduce) the inorganic atmospheric form of carbon (CO2) into organic molecules. The primary photosynthates are carbohydrates, which then supply substrates to different metabolic pathways leading to the synthesis of other cell components, such as lipids, amino acids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Also, these photogenerated biomolecules are key to sustaining life on earth, as they serve as the organic feedstock to many other heterotrophic organisms (Cortassa et al. 2012). Higher plants perform oxygenic photosynthesis in green tissues (mainly in leaves) and more specifically in cells having chloroplasts. The entire process can be divided into two parts: the light phase and the synthetic phase. The light phase comprises steps mainly taking place at the thylakoid membrane of chloroplast to convert the electromagnetic energy from light into reducing power (NADPH) and chemical energy (ATP) with the associated photolysis of water, according to the following general equation: 2 H 2 O + 3 ADP + 3 P i + 2 NAD P + + light  → O 2 + 3   ATP +2  NADPH + 2  H +

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