• Manju A. Lal


All forms of life in this universe require energy for growth and maintenance. Plants and some forms of bacteria capture light energy directly from solar radiation and utilize it for synthesis of food materials besides producing basic raw materials from which other cellular biomolecules are produced. The term photosynthesis describes the process by which green plants synthesize organic compounds from inorganic raw materials using light. Photosynthesis is the source of all biological energy, viz., food, biological fuels, and biomass, and is also most important for availability of free oxygen. Whatever free oxygen is there in the atmosphere is the result of photosynthesis. Since heterotrophic organisms including animals cannot use sunlight as direct source of energy, they consume plants as the source of energy. Photosynthesis is the means for solar energy to enter into the global ecosystem, and it alone is the essential biological process by which solar energy is transformed into metabolic form of energy for all forms of life on earth. An understanding of the fundamental and applied aspects of the process comes from a wide range of studies including agriculture, forestry, plant biochemistry, plant molecular biology, tissue culture, and metabolic engineering.


Fluorescence Light-harvesting complex Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase Photons Photorespiration Primary reaction center Quantum yield RuBP carboxylase 

Suggested Further Readings

  1. Jones R, Ougham H, Thomas H, Waaland S (2013) The molecular life of plants. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp 284–326Google Scholar
  2. Nelson DL, Cox MM (2017) Lehninger principles of biochemistry, 7th edn. W.H. Freeman, New York, pp 755–798Google Scholar
  3. Niyogi KK, Wolosiuk RA, Malkin R (2015) Photosynthesis. In: Buchanan BB, Gruissem W, Jones RL (eds) Biochemistry and molecular biology of plants. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp 508–565Google Scholar
  4. Taiz L, Ziegler E, Moller IM, Murphy A (2015) Plant physiology and development, 6th edn. Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland, pp 171–239Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manju A. Lal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyKirori Mal College, University of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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