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Photosynthetic Nutrition For Health and Life
Living organisms are constantly undergoing chemical reactions that bring about energetic changes in their bodies. All these reactions and changes are called metabolism. Basically, metabolism consists of two processes, the synthesis or construction of complex substances of the body from simpler components and energy, and the decomposition or breakdown of these complex substances and energy. The first process is known as anabolism and the second as catabolism.
One of the main characteristics of living organisms is the ability to feed. This is called nutrition. So nutrition is the process of obtaining energy and materials for cell metabolism, including cell maintenance and repair and growth. In living organisms, nutrition is a complex series of anabolic and catabolic processes by which food materials taken into the body are converted into complex body substances (mainly for growth) and energy (for work). In animals, the food materials obtained are usually in the form of complex, insoluble compounds. These are broken down into simpler compounds, which can be absorbed into cells. In plants, complex nutrients are first synthesized by plant cells and then distributed to all parts of the plant body. Here, they are converted into simpler, soluble forms, which can be absorbed into the protoplasm of each cell. The raw materials needed for the synthesis of these complex food materials are obtained from the air and soil in the plant’s environment.
All living organisms that cannot obtain their energy supply through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis are known as heterotrophs or heterostrophic organisms. Heterostrophic means feeding on others. All animals are heterotrophic. Other organisms such as many types of bacteria, some flowering plants and all fungi use this method of feeding. The manner in which heterostrophs obtain their food varies considerably. However, the way in which food is processed into usable form within the body is very similar in most of them. But all green plants have the ability to produce carbohydrates from some raw materials taken from the air and soil. This ability is important not only for plants themselves, but also for animals, including humans, which depend directly or indirectly on plants for food.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants produce their own food by using energy from the sun and available raw materials. It is the production of carbohydrates in plants. It develops only in the chlorophyll (ie green) cells of leaves and stems. These green cells contain chloroplasts, which are essential for food synthesis. All the raw materials needed for photosynthesis, that is, water and mineral salts from the soil, and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, must be transported to the chlorophyll cells, which are more abundant in the leaves.
Small pores, or stomata, which usually occur in greater numbers on the undersides of most leaves, allow gases from the atmosphere to pass into the tissues inside. A stoma is an oval-shaped epidermal cell known as a guard cell. Each stoma is actually the opening of a sub-stomatal air chamber. This is a large intercellular air space, which lies adjacent to the stoma. It is continuous with the other intercellular air spaces found within the leaf. The size of each stomatal pore depends on the curvature of the guard cells surrounding it. When the guard cells are filled with water, they swell, or become cloudy, and the pore opens. However, when the water level is low, they become soft, or weak, and collapse, resulting in clogged pores. When the stoma is open, air enters the substomatal chamber and diffuses throughout the intercellular air, diffuses into the water, which surrounds the cells. This carbon dioxide solution is then distributed to the cells of the leaf, especially the palisade cells. Here, it is used by chloroplasts for photosynthesis.
Water carrying dissolved mineral salts such as phosphates, chlorides and bicarbonates of sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium is absorbed from the soil by the roots. This soil water enters the root hairs by a process called osmosis the movement of water molecules from a region of lower concentration to a region of higher concentration through a semi-permeable membrane. It is then carried up from the roots, through the stem to the leaves by the xylem tissue. It is transported to all cells, through the vein and their branches.
Chloroplasts contain the green pigment (chlorophyll) which gives plants their color and are able to absorb light energy from sunlight. This energy is used for one of the first essential steps in photosynthesis; namely, the splitting of the water molecule into oxygen and hydrogen. This oxygen is released into the atmosphere. Hydrogen components are also used to reduce carbon dioxide, in a series of enzymes and energy-consuming reactions, to form complex organic compounds such as sugars and starches.
During photosynthesis, high-energy compounds such as carbohydrates are synthesized from low-energy compounds such as carbon dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll. Since solar energy is needed for photosynthesis, the process cannot occur at night due to the lack of sunlight. The end products of photosynthesis are carbohydrates and oxygen. The first is distributed to all parts of the plant. The latter is released as a gas through the stomata back into the atmosphere in exchange for the carbon dioxide that has been taken up. the occurrence of photosynthesis in green leaves can be demonstrated by experiments showing the absorption of carbon dioxide, water and energy by leaves and the production of oxygen and carbohydrates. Simple experiments can be devised to demonstrate the delivery of oxygen by green plants, the formation of carbohydrates (ie, starch) in leaves, and the requirements of carbon dioxide, sunlight, and chlorophyll for the formation of starch in green leaves.
Experiments in physiology involve placing biological materials such as plants and animals or parts of plants and animals under unusual conditions, e.g. jars, cages or boxes. If an experiment is set up to show the effects produced by the lack of carbon dioxide during the photosynthetic process, then the result obtained from such an experiment can be argued to be partly due to placing the biological material under unnatural experimental conditions. , therefore, necessary to set up two almost identical experiments; one is placed under normal conditions (the control experiment) where all factors necessary for photosynthesis are present, while the other (the test experiment) is placed in a condition where a single factor is eliminated or altered while all other factors are present . This enables the experimenter to be sure that the result shown by his test experiment is due to the eliminated or variable factor and not to the experimented configuration. Thus, the control experiment serves as a guide to ensure that the conclusion obtained from the test experiment is not an error.
After some appropriate experiments, observation clearly shows that oxygen is released only when photosynthesis occurs, that is, during the day. No starch can be formed if sunlight is absent although all other essential factors such as water, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll may be present.
Photosynthesis, the basic component of nutrition, the unit of healthy living has played and is playing an essential role for living organisms. The complex cellular structures of plants are built from the primary product of photosynthesis, that is, a simple carbohydrate such as glucose. At this stage, it should be understood that, although much emphasis has been placed on photosynthesis, the process of protein synthesis is just as important as the first. During protein synthesis, nitrogen compounds absorbed by plants, and in certain cases, phosphorus and other elements, combine with glucose to form various plant proteins.
In addition to contributing to the synthesis of plant proteins, glucose is also important because it can be converted into fats and oils after a series of chemical reactions. It is also the primary product from which other organic compounds are formed.
The importance of photosynthesis in all food cycles cannot be overemphasized. Animals are unable to use the sun’s energy to synthesize energy-rich compounds from readily available simple substances such as water and carbon dioxide found in the atmosphere around us, but ultraviolet rays from the sun cause some living bodies; melanin and keratin it affects the color and strength of animal skin and some internal damage. Of the rays, therefore, it is fortunate that plants have the ability to use the energy provided by sunlight to synthesize and store energy-rich compounds on which all animal life forms ultimately depend.
For his survival, man eats not only plant products such as fruits, vegetables and grains, but also animals such as livestock and fish. Cattle and other herbivores depend entirely on plant life for their existence. While some fish are herbivores, others have a mixed diet and a large number are completely carnivorous. Carnivores depend indirectly on plants for sustenance. Their immediate diet consists of smaller animals which themselves must feed, if not entirely, then in part, on plants. Photosynthesis is the first step in all food cycles.
During the process of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and oxygen is added to it. If this purification process did not exist in nature, the atmosphere would soon be saturated with the carbon dioxide given off during the respiration of animals and plants and during the decomposition of organic matter, so that all life would gradually cease. Without photosynthesis, there will be no food. And if there is no food, living things will not exist. And if there are no living things on the earth, the earth will still be formless and completely empty. There will be no living things to do work if photosynthesis is not suitable. I wonder what will be the fate of living things today or someday, when photosynthesis stops.
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