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Photosynthesis Part II: The Calvin Cycle, Environmental Conditions, & Preventing Photorespiration.

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Presentation on theme: "Photosynthesis Part II: The Calvin Cycle, Environmental Conditions, & Preventing Photorespiration."— Presentation transcript:

1 Photosynthesis Part II: The Calvin Cycle, Environmental Conditions, & Preventing Photorespiration

2 Photosynthesis: An Overview The net overall equation for photosynthesis is: Photosynthesis occurs in 2 “stages”: 1.The Light Reactions (or Light-Dependent Reactions) 2.The Calvin Cycle (or Calvin-Benson Cycle or Dark Reactions or Light-Independent Reactions) 2 6 CO 2 + 6 H 2 O C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6 O 2 light Is photosynthesis an ENDERGONIC or EXERGONIC reaction?

3 Photosynthesis: An Overview To follow the energy in photosynthesis, 3 light ATP NADPH Light Reactions thylakoids Calvin Cycle stroma Organic compounds (carbs)

4 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle In the Calvin Cycle, chemical energy (from the light reactions) and CO 2 (from the atmosphere) are used to produce organic compounds (like glucose). The Calvin Cycle occurs in the stroma of chloroplasts. 4

5 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle The Calvin Cycle involves the process of carbon fixation. This is the process of assimilating carbon from a non-organic compound (ie. CO 2 ) and incorporating it into an organic compound (ie. carbohydrates). 5 CARBON FIXATION

6 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle Step 1: Carbon Fixation 3 molecules of CO 2 (from the atmosphere) are joined to 3 molecules of RuBP (a 5-carbon sugar) by Rubisco (an enzyme also known as RuBP carboxylase) 6 C C C C CC C C C CC C C C C C C C 3 carbon dioxide molecules 3 RuBP molecules Rubisco This forms 3 molecules which each have 6 carbons (for a total of 18 carbons!)

7 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle Step 2: Reduction The three 6-carbon molecules (very unstable) split in half, forming six 3-carbon molecules. These molecules are then reduced by gaining electrons from NADPH. ATP is required for this molecular rearranging 7 C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C CC C CC C C C C C C C C C C C NADPH NADP + ATP ADP P Where did the NADPH and ATP come from to do this?

8 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle There are now six 3-carbon molecules, which are known as G3P or PGAL. Since the Calvin Cycle started with 15 carbons (three 5-carbon molecules) and there are now 18 carbons, we have a net gain of 3 carbons. 8 C C CC C CC C C C C C C C C C C C Where did these 3 extra carbons come from? One of these “extra” 3- carbon G3P/PGAL molecules will exit the cycle and be used to form ½ a glucose molecule.

9 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle Once the Calvin Cycle “turns” twice (well, actually 6 times), those 2 molecules of G3P (a 3-carbon carbohydrate) will combine to form 1 molecule of glucose (a 6-carbon carbohydrate molecule) OR another organic compound. 9 C C C G3P (from 3 turns of the Calvin Cycle) C C C G3P (from 3 turns of the Calvin Cycle) C C C C C C glucose

10 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle Step 3: Regeneration of RuBP Since this is the Calvin Cycle, we must end up back at the beginning. The remaining 5 G3P molecules (3-carbons each!) get rearranged (using ATP) to form 3 RuBP molecules (5-carbons each). 10 C C CC C C C C C C C C C C C 5 G3P molecules Total: 15 carbons 3 RuBP molecules Total: 15 carbons Where does the ATP come from to do this? ATP ADP P

11 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle Rubisco ORGANIC COMPOUND NADPH NADP + ATP ADP P RuBP CO 2

12 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle 12

13 Phase 2: The Calvin Cycle Quick recap: In the Calvin Cycle, energy and electrons from the Light Reactions (in the form of ATP and NADPH) and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are used to produce organic compounds. The Calvin Cycle occurs in the stroma inside the chloroplasts (inside the cells…). Carbon dioxide, ATP, and NADPH are required (reactants). Organic compounds (G3P) are produced (products). 13

14 Photosynthesis: A Recap So, as a broad overview of photosynthesis, The Light Reactions (Phase 1) capture the energy in sunlight and convert it to chemical energy in the form of ATP and NADPH through the use of photosystems, electron transport chains, and chemiosmosis. The Calvin Cycle (Phase 2) uses the energy transformed by the light reactions along with carbon dioxide to produce organic compounds. 14

15 Photosynthesis: A Recap 15 Based on this equation, how could the rate of photosynthesis be measured? The photosynthetic equation: light Excites electrons during the light reactions 6 H 2 O Split during the light reactions to replace electrons lost from Photosystem II 6 CO 2 Provides the carbon to produce organic compounds during the Calvin Cycle Produced as a byproduct of the splitting of water during the light reactions 6 O 2 C 6 H 12 O 6 The organic compound ultimately produced during the Calvin Cycle

16 Photosynthesis: A Recap Photosynthesis Animation (click on “Animation” after clicking the link) 16

17 Environmental Factors & Photosynthesis The rate (or speed) of photosynthesis can vary, based on environmental conditions. Light intensity Temperature Oxygen concentration 17

18 Environmental Factors & Photosynthesis Light intensity As light intensity increases, so too does the rate of photosynthesis. 18 This occurs due to increased excitation of electrons in the photosystems. However, the photosystems will eventually become saturated. Above this limiting level, no further increase in photosynthetic rate will occur. light saturation point

19 Environmental Factors & Photosynthesis Temperature The effect of temperature on the rate of photosynthesis is linked to the action of enzymes. As the temperature increases up to a certain point, the rate of photosynthesis increases. 19 Molecules are moving faster & colliding with enzymes more frequently, facilitating chemical reactions. However, at temperatures higher than this point, the rate of photosynthesis decreases. Enzymes are denatured.

20 Environmental Factors & Photosynthesis Oxygen concentration As the concentration of oxygen increases, the rate of photosynthesis decreases. This occurs due to the phenomenon of photorespiration. 20

21 Photorespiration Photorespiration occurs when Rubisco (RuBP carboxylase) joins oxygen to RuBP in the first step of the Calvin Cycle rather than carbon dioxide. Whichever compound (O 2 or CO 2 ) is present in higher concentration will be joined by Rubisco to RuBP. Photorespiration prevents the synthesis of glucose AND utilizes the plant’s ATP. 21 More CO 2 More O 2 Rubisco joins CO 2 to RuBP Rubisco joins O 2 to RuBP Photosynthesis occurs; glucose is produced Photorespiration occurs; glucose is NOT produced

22 Photorespiration Photorespiration is primarily a problem for plants under water stress. When plants are under water stress, their stomata close to prevent water loss through transpiration. However, this also limits gas exchange. O 2 is still being produced (through the light reactions). 22 Thus, the concentration of O 2 is increasing. CO 2 is not entering the leaf since the stomata are closed. Thus, as the CO 2 is being used up (in the Calvin Cycle) and not replenished, the concentration of CO 2 is decreasing.

23 Photorespiration As the concentration of O 2 increases and the concentration of CO 2 decreases (due to the closure of the stomata to prevent excessive water loss), photorespiration is favored over photosynthesis. Some plant species that live in hot, dry climates (where photorespiration is an especially big problem) have developed mechanisms through natural selection to prevent photorespiration. C 4 plants CAM plants 23

24 C 3 Plants C 3 plants, which are “normal” plants, perform the light reactions and the Calvin Cycle in the mesophyll cells of the leaves. 24 The bundle sheath cells of C 3 plants do not contain chloroplasts palisade mesophyll spongy mesophyll bundle sheath cells

25 C 4 and CAM Plants C 4 plants and CAM plants modify the process of C 3 photosynthesis to prevent photorespiration. Overview: C 4 plants perform the Calvin Cycle in a different location within the leaf than C 3 plants. CAM plants obtain CO 2 at a different time than C 3 plants. Both C 4 and CAM plants separate the initial fixing of CO 2 (carbon fixation) from the using of CO 2 in the Calvin Cycle. 25

26 C 4 Plants: Preventing Photorespiration Plants that use C 4 photosynthesis include corn, sugar cane, and sorghum. In this process, CO 2 is transferred from the mesophyll cells into the bundle-sheath cells, which are impermeable to CO 2. 26 This increases the concentration of CO 2. Thus, the Calvin Cycle is favored over photorespiration. The bundle-sheath cells of C 4 plants do contain chloroplasts.

27 C 4 Plants: Preventing Photorespiration C 4 plants use the Hatch-Slack pathway prior to the Calvin Cycle: PEP carboxylase adds carbon dioxide to PEP, a 3-carbon compound, in the mesophyll cells. This produces a 4-carbon compound (which is why it’s known as C 4 photosynthesis). This 4-carbon molecule then moves into the bundle-sheath cells via plasmodesmata. 27 In the bundle sheath cells, the CO 2 is released and the Calvin Cycle begins.

28 C 4 Plants: Preventing Photorespiration 28 If the Hatch-Slack pathway helps to prevent photorespiration, why wouldn’t ALL plants have this adaptation?

29 CAM Plants: Preventing Photorespiration Plants that use CAM photosynthesis include succulent plants (like cacti) and pineapples. In CAM (crassulacean acid metabolism) photosynthesis, plants open their stomata at night to obtain CO 2 and release O 2. This prevents them from drying out by keeping their stomata closed during the hottest & driest part of the day. 29

30 When the stomata are opened at night, the CO 2 is converted to an organic acid (via the C 4 pathway) and stored overnight. During the day – when light is present to drive the Light Reactions to power the Calvin Cycle – carbon dioxide is released from the organic acid and used in the Calvin Cycle to produce organic compounds. Remember: 30 Even though the CO 2 is taken in at night, the Calvin Cycle cannot occur because the Light Reactions can’t occur in the dark! CAM Plants: Preventing Photorespiration

31 31

32 Avoiding Photorespiration Both C 4 and CAM plants – which are primarily found in hot, dry climates – have evolutionary adaptations which help prevent photorespiration. C 4 plants perform the Calvin Cycle in the bundle- 32 sheath cells. CAM plants open their stomata at night and store the CO 2 until morning.

33 Created by: Cheryl Boggs Richmond, VA


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