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Why Is It Important For Plants To Have Glucose?

Dictionary

Dictionary

Definition noun A simple monosaccharide sugar that serves as the main source of energy and as an important metabolic substrate for most living things. Its chemical formula is: C6H12O6 Supplement Glucose is a hexose sugar since it contains six carbon atoms, one of which is part of an aldehyde group, hence, is referred to as an aldohexose. Glucose is one of the products of photosynthesis in plants and other photosynthetic organisms. In plants, glucose molecules are stored as repeating units of sugar (e.g. starch). Glucose also serves as an important metabolic intermediate of cellular respiration. In animals, an excess of glucose is stored as glycogen. Word origin: Greek gleukos = sweetness, glykys = sweet. Synonym: D-glucose, D-glucopyranose, grape sugar, corn sugar, dextrose, cerelose, starch syrup. See also: monosaccharide. Continue reading >>

When Does A Plant Change Sugar To Starch?

When Does A Plant Change Sugar To Starch?

Plant photosynthesis and energy creation are complex processes involving carbon dioxide, water and sunlight, facilitated by multiple enzymes to create the basic sugar called glucose. Much of the glucose plants produce is immediately metabolized into different forms of energy that plants use to grow and reproduce. The portions of glucose that are not immediately converted to energy are converted to complex sugar compounds, called starches. These are produced after the photosynthesis cycle. Plants then store starches for future energy needs or use them to build new tissues. Photosynthesis Plants are photoautotrophs. Unlike humans and animals, they create their own energy from sunlight and naturally occurring organic compounds. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use light energy to create glucose by reacting this energy, in the form of electrons, with water and carbon dioxide in cell membranes. Glucose is then used during cellular metabolism in plant tissues to create energy. When sunlight is ample, plants often create more glucose than is needed for immediate metabolism and store it in starches. Starches Plants store starches in a variety of ways. Starch molecules are enormous when compared to other simple molecules, often containing thousands of bonded sugars. Photosynthesis is carried out in plant cells and requires two distinct processes known as light dependent and light independent reactions. Both most occur for glucose to be synthesized. Thus, plants build starches only after the metabolic processes of photosynthesis. Enzymes bond glucose molecules into more complex sugars that form starches. Storing Starches Plants create, use and store starches for many purposes, but the two major ones are cellulose synthesis and energy storage. Cellulose is the primary Continue reading >>

Starch Is A Polymer Made By Plants To Store Energy.

Starch Is A Polymer Made By Plants To Store Energy.

You see, plants need energy to grow and grow and grow. They use energy from sunlight to make a simple sugar, glucose. Plants make polymers - starch - out of extra glucose, so it's right there when they need it. Click the picture to see a 3-d interactive version of starch. Wouldn't it be great for a whole bunch of glucose molecules to be together in one package? Well, plants thought that was a cool idea. They hook glucose molecules all together in such a way that the long chain curls all around and forms a big globby polymer. That's starch! Whenever the plant needs energy, it can chomp a little glucose off of the starch. Chomp! mmmmm! Here is a short section of starch, with only 4 glucose molecules. Starch can also have a lot of branches. Each branch is a short chain made from glucoses, and each branch can make more branches. Crazy, huh? Another good thing about starch: Each little glucose likes to have water all around it. That can be really hard on the plant. In a starch polymer, the glucose units have other glucose units around them, and that works just as well as water. So, the plant doesn't need so much water, and everybody's happy! Hey, what about us?! We need glucose for energy, too. You even need energy to think! When you eat starchy food, special proteins called enzymes (which are also polymers, by the way) break starch down into glucose, so your body can burn it for energy. This starts happening right in your mouth! There's an enzyme in your spit (yep, your spit!) that starts to cut up the starch. Check out this link to see how you can taste this enzyme working. Foods that have a lot of starch include: grains (like rice and wheat), corn, and potatoes. Our bodies can't make starch - only plants make starch. We have two ways of storing excess glucose. I'm sure yo Continue reading >>

Storage And Use Of Glucose

Storage And Use Of Glucose

The glucose produced in photosynthesis may be used in various ways by plants and algae. Storage Glucose is needed by cells for respiration. However, it is not produced at night when it is too dark for photosynthesis to happen. Plants and algae store glucose as insoluble products. These include: Use Some glucose is used for respiration to release energy. Some is used to produce: Plants also need nitrates to make proteins. These are absorbed from the soil as nitrate ions. Three factors can limit the speed of photosynthesis: light intensity, carbon dioxide concentration and temperature. Without enough light, a plant cannot photosynthesise very quickly, even if there is plenty of water and carbon dioxide. Increasing the light intensity will boost the speed of photosynthesis. Sometimes photosynthesis is limited by the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. Even if there is plenty of light, a plant cannot photosynthesise if there is insufficient carbon dioxide. If it gets too cold, the rate of photosynthesis will decrease. Plants cannot photosynthesise if it gets too hot. If you plot the rate of photosynthesis against the levels of these three limiting factors, you get graphs like the ones above. In practice, any one of these factors could limit the rate of photosynthesis. Farmers can use their knowledge of factors limiting the rate of photosynthesis to increase crop yields. This is particularly true in greenhouses, where the conditions are more easily controlled than in the open air outside: The use of artificial light allows photosynthesis to continue beyond daylight hours. Bright lights also provide a higher-than-normal light intensity. The use of artificial heating allows photosynthesis to continue at an increased rate. The use of additional carbon dioxide released i Continue reading >>

Making Sugar From Carbon Dioxide: The Calvin Cycle

Making Sugar From Carbon Dioxide: The Calvin Cycle

The process of photosynthesis is often described as turning sunlight into sugars, and while that's broadly true, there are two distinct biochemical reactions taking place. The first uses the sunlight to create energy inside the cell and the second takes carbon dioxide and uses it to make sugars. The second is the Calvin cycle although the name is a little unfashionable nowadays. It's politer to refer to it as the Calvin–Benson-Bassham cycle or the reductive pentose phosphate cycle, but with all due apologies to Misters Benson and Bassham, the Calvin Cycle is quicker to write. Turning carbon dioxide into sugar may sound fairly magical, but it becomes a more conceivable when you consider that both carbon dioxide (CO2) and glucose (C6H12O6) contain roughly the same sort of elements. The Calvin cycle just adds on all the extra elements required. Having said that, the 'just' is still a fairly major task, requiring different enzymes all working in the correct order. The carbon dioxide molecules diffuse into the cells through small holes in the underside of the leaf. The first enzyme that picks them up is called Rubisco. Despite sounding like a small corporate venture, Rubisco is actually one of the most important enzymes in the world. Without Rubisco, plants would not be able to make sugars, which means that animals would not be able to survive on plants. Rubisco catalysis the connection of the small molecule ribulose-1.5-bisphosphate phosphate (RuBP) to carbon dioxide - therefore fixing the inorganic CO2 as an organic molecule. RuBP contains 5 carbons as well as oxygen, hydrogen and phosphate and it bonds to the CO2 to create a 6 carbon molecule. This promptly splits into two small 3 carbon molecules as shown in the reaction scheme below: These two 3 carbon molecules then Continue reading >>

How Are Respiration And Photosynthesis Related?

How Are Respiration And Photosynthesis Related?

How are respiration and photosynthesis related? Question Date: 2002-09-07 Answer 1: During photosynthesis, a plant is able to convert solar energy into a chemical form. It does this by capturing light coming from the sun and, through a series of reactions, using its energy to help build a sugar molecule called glucose. Glucose is made of six carbon atoms, six oxygen atoms, and twelve hydrogen atoms. When the plant makes the glucose molecule, it gets the carbon and oxygen atoms it needs from carbon dioxide, which it takes from the air. Carbon dioxide doesn't have any hydrogen in it, though, so the plant must use another source for hydrogen. The source that it uses is water. There is a lot of water on the earth, and every water molecule is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. In order to take the hydrogen it needs to build glucose molecules, the plant uses the energy from the sun to break the water molecule apart, taking electrons and hydrogen from it and releasing the oxygen into the air. The electrons it takes are put into an electron transport system, where they are used to produce energy molecules called ATP that are used to build the glucose molecule-- all made possible by the sun's energy. Thus, during photosynthesis a plant consumes water, carbon dioxide, and light energy, and produces glucose and oxygen. The sugar glucose is important because it is necessary for cellular respiration. During cellular respiration, the chemical energy in the glucose molecule is converted into a form that the plant can use for growth and reproduction. In the first step of respiration, called glycolysis, the glucose molecule is broken down into two smaller molecules called pyruvate, and a little energy is released in the form of ATP. This step in respiration does not req Continue reading >>

Photosynthesis & Respiration

Photosynthesis & Respiration

Photosynthesis Light interception by leaves powers photosynthesis All organisms, animals and plants, must obtain energy to maintain basic biological functions for survival and reproduction. Plants convert energy from sunlight into sugar in a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses energy from light to convert water and carbon dioxide molecules into glucose (sugar molecule) and oxygen (Figure 2). The oxygen is released, or “exhaled”, from leaves while the energy contained within glucose molecules is used throughout the plant for growth, flower formation, and fruit development. There are several structures within a leaf that have important roles in the movement of nutrients and water throughout a plant. Each plant contains a branched system of tubes called xylem, which is responsible for water transport from the roots (where it is taken up) to the leaves (where it is used in photosynthesis). Water flows up from the roots, through the trunk and branches, to the leaves, where it is used in photosynthesis. Alongside xylem is another system of tubes called phloem, which transports the glucose formed in photosynthesis into the branches, fruit, trunk and roots of the tree. The ends of both the xylem and phloem transport systems can be seen within each leaf vein (Figure 3). The structure of xylem and phloem in a plant is analogous to arteries and veins in humans, which move blood to and from the heart and lungs. For more information regarding the structure and function of xylem and phloem, review the Irrigation and Rootstock sections. Leaves contain water which is necessary to convert light energy into glucose through photosynthesis. Leaves have two structures that minimize water loss, the cuticle and stomata. The cuticle is a waxy coating on the top and bottom of Continue reading >>

What Do Chloroplasts Use To Make Glucose?

What Do Chloroplasts Use To Make Glucose?

Chloroplasts are the original “green” solar power transformers. These tiny organelles, found only in the cells of plants and algae, use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. Dan Jenk, science writer for the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University describes the process as follows, “…plants approach the pinnacle of stinginess by scavenging nearly every photon of available light energy to produce food.” Chemical Potential Energy Energy that is stored within a molecular bond is called, “chemical potential energy.” When a chemical bond is broken, such as when a starch molecule is eaten then broken down in the digestive system of an animal, energy is released. All organisms need energy to survive. Photosynthesis Photosynthesis converts light energy into chemical energy that is stored in the molecular bonds of glucose. This process takes place in chloroplasts. A plant uses the glucose molecules to create carbohydrates -- starch and cellulose -- and other nutrients that it needs to grow and reproduce. Photosynthesis thus makes it possible to convert light energy to a form of energy that can be used for food, by both the plant and the animals that eat the plant. Photosynthesis can be represented by the following simplified equation: 6 CO2 (carbon dioxide) + 6 H2O (water) → C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6 O2 (oxygen) Light-Dependent Reactions The light reactions of photosynthesis begin when light from the Sun hits a chloroplast. Chlorophyll, the green pigment inside a chloroplast, absorbs particles of light energy called photons. An absorbed photon initiates a sequence of chemical reactions that create two types of high energy compounds, ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate). I Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

Sugars and starches are important carbohydrates that we take in often. Carbohydrates provide a great part of the energy in our diets. Foods rich in carbohydrates, including potatoes, bread, and maize, are usually the most abundant and cheapest when compared with foods high in protein and fat content. Carbohydrates are burned during body processes to produce energy, giving out carbon dioxide and water. Starches are found mainly in grains, legumes, and tubers, and sugars are found in plants and fruits. Sugars are the smallest units of carbohydrates, and when they join together, they form starch. Role of Carbohydrates The main role of carbohydrates in our diet is to produce energy. Each gram of carbohydrates provides us with about four calories. Carbohydrates also act as a food store. Our bodies also store carbohydrates in insoluble forms as glycogen or starch. This is because these two carbohydrates are compact. Carbohydrates are also combined with nitrogen to form non-essential amino acids. In plants, carbohydrates make up part of the cellulose, giving plants strength and structure. How are Carbohydrates Made? Plants can make their own food because they have chlorophyll in their green leaves. They make food in a process known as photosynthesis. The process of photosynthesis is essential for all living things in the world, and plants are the only food-producers, while the other animals either feed on plants or feed on other animals. For the process of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide and sunlight have to be present. Also, the plant must have water. Only then can the plant photosynthesize and produce glucose and oxygen from carbon dioxide, water and sunlight. The equation of photosynthesis is as follows: 6 CO2 + 6 H2O ---> C6H12O6 + 6 O2 Carbon dioxide + Water ---> Glucose + Continue reading >>

Knowledge Base Starch

Knowledge Base Starch

Starch (amylum) is a complex carbohydrate, a polysaccharide to be precise, that is made up of a large number of linked glucose molecules (so-called monosaccharides). Plants store energy in a variety of forms: sugar beet and sugar cane, for example, store energy in the form of disaccharides (glucose-fructose molecules), while corn, potato, wheat and tapioca store it in the form of starches (glucose molecules). Starch is an important means of storing glucose and therefore one of the most important means of storing energy for land plants and green algae. Starch is generally stored in plant cells in the form of organized grains of various sizes and shapes, depending on the species of plant. Starch is made up of How is starch produced? In our latitudes, starch is mainly obtained from corn, wheat or potatoes. Other important sources of starch are rice and manioc (tapioca). The principle of extracting starch from plants can be explained in simple terms as follows: The parts of plants containing the starch are chopped into such small pieces that cells containing starch are also destroyed. The starch is then “rinsed” out of the cells before being separated out by means of filtration and centrifugal processes. This also includes the separation out of cellular structures. The starch is finally dried. Native starch is obtained in the form of a white powder. The properties of starch The most important property of starch is its ability to gelatinize. When a mixture of starch and water is heated, the starch is able to physically bind an amount of water equivalent to many times its own weight. The starch swells and gelatinizes. The starch paste has different characteristics depending on its source plant (potato, wheat, corn, etc.). Starch paste not only forms coagulated gluten but Continue reading >>

Why Do Plants Need Light?

Why Do Plants Need Light?

Plants are beneficial to humans and other animals in a myriad ways. The most commonly thought of benefit, that plants provide, is that they give off oxygen while taking in carbon dioxide. They, namely trees, also provide shade and cooler temperatures. Plants are also used in manufacturing products such as paper, lighting, adhesives, medicine, clothing, cosmetics, fuel, charcoal as well as many other products. Additionally, plants provide food for people everywhere. But without light, plants- and life as we know it- would cease to exist. All plants and animals are fully dependent on photosynthesis for their energy. While some carnivores do not eat plants, directly, the vast majority consume animals that subsist on plants. But why exactly do plants need light? How does this miracle process work? “Plants need light for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process of the plant making its own food,” said Matt Kostelnick, senior horticulturist, at Ambius. Photosynthesis occurs within the chlorophyll inside the chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are the sites of photosynthesis. This is a two-step process: the light reactions and then the Calvin cycle. The photosystems involved in the light reactions are: the water-splitting photosystem in which electrons are extracted from water and oxygen is released into the atmosphere. The second photosystem that takes place is what is referred to as the NADPH Photosystem, in which electrons are moved from the chlorophyll to NADP-producing NADPH. Together the two photosystems release energy to the chloroplast, which then uses it to drive cellular processes crucial for plant survival. Inside the thick double-membraned layer of the chloroplast is a thick fluid called stroma and inside is an apparatus of stacked green sacs known as grana. This is Continue reading >>

Glucose

Glucose

Glucose is a carbohydrate, and is the most important simple sugar in human metabolism. Glucose is called a simple sugar or a monosaccharide because it is one of the smallest units which has the characteristics of this class of carbohydrates. Glucose is also sometimes called dextrose. Corn syrup is primarily glucose. Glucose is one of the primary molecules which serve as energy sources for plants and animals. It is found in the sap of plants, and is found in the human bloodstream where it is referred to as "blood sugar". The normal concentration of glucose in the blood is about 0.1%, but it becomes much higher in persons suffering from diabetes. When oxidized in the body in the process called metabolism, glucose produces carbon dioxide, water, and some nitrogen compounds and in the process provides energy which can be used by the cells. The energy yield is about 686 kilocalories (2870 kilojoules) per mole which can be used to do work or help keep the body warm. This energy figure is the change in Gibbs free energy ΔG in the reaction, the measure of the maximum amount of work obtainable from the reaction. As a primary energy source in the body, it requires no digestion and is often provided intravenously to persons in hospitals as a nutrient. Energy from glucose is obtained from the oxidation reaction C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6CO2 + 6H2O where a mole of glucose (about 180 grams) reacts with six moles of O2 with an energy yield ΔG = 2870 kJ. The six moles of oxygen at STP would occupy 6 x 22.4L = 134 liters. The energy yield from glucose is often stated as the yield per liter of oxygen, which would be 5.1 kcal per liter or 21.4 kJ per liter. This energy yield could be measured by actually burning the glucose and measuring the energy liberated in a calorimeter. But in living org Continue reading >>

Where Does A Plant's Mass Come From?

Where Does A Plant's Mass Come From?

Where Does a Plant's Mass Come From? Have you ever wondered where plants get their mass? All those leaves and branches have to come from somewhere, but where? It turns out that the main ingredients for plant growth are water, air, and energy. The Story of Air The air around you may seem empty, but it's not. Air is made of tiny bits that we call molecules. If you had enough air molecules, you could even weigh them. Two of the molecules in air are oxygen and carbon dioxide. You may think oxygen is the most important molecule—we need it to live. But carbon is important too. All living things on Earth are made of carbon. If you removed the water from our bodies, you would find that carbon makes up most of the rest of our weight, or mass. The same is true for plants. We get carbon from our food, but where do you think plants get carbon? They don't get their carbon from the soil, or from the sun, or from water. Plants pull carbon out of the air. Are Plants Made from Thin Air? Air is mostly made of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. So how do plants get the carbon they need to grow? They absorb carbon dioxide from the air. This carbon makes up most of the building materials that plants use to build new leaves, stems, and roots. The oxygen used to build glucose molecules is also from carbon dioxide. Water is another important material plants need to grow, and they get it by absorbing it through their roots. Water is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. The hydrogen in water is used to help build glucose molecules. A plant can be up to 95% water. Think of the water as the filler they use between carbon structures. If we take away the water from a plant though, and look at just the dry material, a large majority of that material comes from thin air. They also need Continue reading >>

What Is Glucose Used For In A Plant?

What Is Glucose Used For In A Plant?

Glucose is a simple sugar that can be stored in a variety of forms. It is a vital component for most types of life on earth. Plants have the ability to create glucose instead of absorbing it from other sources. Photosynthesis is the process in which they take the energy of the sunlight and the molecules from carbon dioxide and create nutrients for themselves. During photosynthesis, plants use specific cells called chloroplasts, which house layers and layers of chlorophyll, a pigment that holds energy from light photons that pass through it. This energy is then converted into a chemical that is easier for plants to use. Some of the light energy is converted directly into ATP, the same type of molecule that helps human muscles move, while the rest of it is made into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). The ATP energy goes directly into running the other "factory" parts of the plant, while the NADPH is combined with carbon dioxide to create glucose. NADPH provides hydrogen atoms that are bonded to other molecules to create the simple sugar. This process differs in some plants, and is usually based on how many single molecules are needed to form one molecule of glucose. Glucose is a carbohydrate, a molecule that living organisms use to gain energy. Plants draw up the nutrients and minerals they require from their roots, the building blocks for their cells, and breaking apart the glucose, they make the energy needed to combine the building blocks into leaves, flowers, seeds and other important parts, including cellulose, the vital material that plants use to make their cell walls. Essentially, when the chemical bonds that hold the glucose molecule together are broken, they release electrons that, now free, need to join with other atoms, thus giving the molecu Continue reading >>

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis

Green plants are producers. This means that they can survive without animals! They can make lots of organic chemicals from a few simple inorganic chemicals. They need simple things like carbon dioxide and water and can make complex things like sugar, starch, fat, and proteins. Plants get their nutrients from the environment. Carbon dioxide comes from the air (unless they are aquatic plants, in which case they get it from the water surrounding them). They get water from the soil. They also need other inorganic nutrients like nitrate, sulphate and phosphate. A few plants cannot get nitrate out of the soil so they have to eat animals to get the nitrogen which they must have for growth. Animals are consumers; they cannot carry out photosynthesis. This means that they have to eat other things to get the carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals which they need. When plants are in the sunlight they can make a sugar called glucose. This is slightly different from the sugar (sucrose) which you put into your tea. Glucose contains three chemical elements: Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen All the carbon needed for photosynthesis comes from carbon dioxide. All the hydrogen comes from water. When plants use carbon dioxide and water to make glucose there is a lot of oxygen left over. Here is a word equation: Light CarbonDioxide + Water → Glucose + Oxygen Chlorophyll Carbon dioxide and water are inorganic chemicals, whereas glucose is an organic chemical. Plants need energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose; this energy comes from sunlight. Plants can also use artificial light providing that it contains the right frequencies (colours). Light energy is trapped by a green chemical called chlorophyll. In photosynthesis, light energy is converted into chemical energy. Wh Continue reading >>

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