The site of photosynthesis

Although, leaves are the main sites of photosynthesis in most plants, it can take place in any part that is green. These green parts have chloroplasts,which contain all the biochemical machinery necessary for the light-dependent and light-independent stages of photosynthesis.

Chloroplasts act as compartments, isolating the photosynthetic reactions from other cellular activities. Each chloroplast consists of two membranes enclosing a gelatinous matrix called the stroma. The stroma contains ribosomes, circular DNA, and enzymes used in photosynthesis. Suspended in the stroma are thylakoids. These are disk-like membrane sacs, several of which are stacked in a group to form a granum (plural grana). The space inside each thylakoid in a stack is connected with the other thylakoids in the stack, forming a continuous fluid-filled compartment called the thylakoid space. The thylakoid membranes contain photosynthetic pigments, including chlorophyll.

Factors Affecting The Rate Of Photosynthesis

The rate of photosynthesis can be measured as the volume of carbon dioxide taken in by a part per init time, or as the amount of carbohydrate produced per unit time. In laboratory investigations, the rate is commonly estimated as the volume of oxygen released per unit time, which is more easily measured. However, this method does not give an accurate measure of photosynthesis. Some of the oxygen generated by photosynthesis is used by the plant for respiration. Respiration goes on all the time, even when photosynthesis is at its height. So using oxygen liberation as a measure of photosynthesis gives an underestimate of the true rate. We are actually measuring the rate of photosynthesis above a point called the compensation point,defined as: the point at which the rate of photosynthesis in a plant is in exact balance with the rate of respiration, so there is no net exchange of carbon dioxide or oxygen. The compensation point is usually related to a particular light intensity or carbon dioxide level.

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