Photosynthesis, Carbon Fixation And - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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Photosynthesis, Carbon Fixation And

Virtually all life on Earth ultimately depends on the light-driven fixation of carbon dioxide (CO2) according to the following equation: 6CO2 + 6H2 O → C6 H12 O6 (glucose) + 6O2

A micrograph of plant cell chloroplasts. A micrograph of plant cell chloroplasts.

Photosynthesis takes place in subcellular membrane-bound compartments called chloroplasts. As radiotracers such as carbon-14 became available to researchers following World War II (1939-45), one application was to define the biochemistry of photosynthetic CO2 fixation. Major class divisions in the plant kingdom are based on how CO2 is fixed.

C3 Photosynthesis.


Many important biological processes are sustained by cycles that continuously consume and renew one or more key intermediates while producing some other major product. Photosynthesis is sustained by the Calvin-Benson cycle.

The C3 photosynthetic mechanism is so named because the carbon atom of a molecule of CO2 taken up by an illuminated leaf is first detected in...

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This section contains 2,215 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Photosynthesis, Carbon Fixation And Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Photosynthesis, Carbon Fixation And from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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