Every living organism requires food to fulfill the requirement of energy for their various activities. Green plants are autotrophic in nature. So, they synthesize their food by a very important process called photosynthesis. The term ‘photosynthesis’ consists of two words ‘photo’ means ‘light’ and ‘synthesis’ means ‘to make’. Thus, photosynthesis is the process of making food with the help of sunlight.
It may be defined as the process of making food by green plants from carbon dioxide and water by chlorophyll in the presence of sunlight. In the process of photosynthesis oxygen gas is liberated. The chemical reaction for photosynthesis is as follows:
The process of photosynthesis takes place in leaves of a plant, because these contain the green colouring pigment chlorophyll which is necessary for synthesis of food in plants. Thus, leaves are the site of preparation of food in plants. That is why; leaves are also called food factories of a plant.
The carbon dioxide required for photosynthesis is obtained from the air which enters the leaves through very minute pores called stomata. But, aquatic plants use carbon dioxide dissolved in water. The water is absorbed from the soil by the roots of plants and transported to leaves by a network of tiny veins called xylem vessels. The sunlight energy is absorbed by chlorophyll. A chemical reaction using the trapped sunlight energy takes place in the chloroplasts (chlorophyll containing organelles of cells) to prepare food. The food prepared by the leaves of a plant is usually in the form of carbohydrates.
Significances of photosynthesis
- Food is prepared by photosynthesis which is used by all the plants and animals
- Photosynthesis decreases the amount of CO2 present in atmosphere; hence it helps in reducing pollution.
- During the process of photosynthesis O2 gas is produced as a byproduct, which is used for respiration by animals.
- During photosynthesis CO2 is used by plants and O2 is liberated. So, photosynthesis helps in maintaining the balance between CO2 and O2 present in air.
- Many photosynthetic products such as coal, petroleum and natural gas are important sources of energy which are used to run our machines.
Test Your Understanding and Answer These Questions:
- What is photosynthesis?
- How do plants obtain food?
- Which is main product of photosynthesis?
- Which is by product of photosynthesis?
- What is importance of photosynthesis?
- Write the names of raw materials of photosynthesis.
- From where do plants get CO2 for photosynthesis?
- From where do aquatic plants get CO2 for photosynthesis?