Seaweed photosynthesis


Photosynthesis is defined as the mechanism by all chlorophyll containing (autotrophic) plants that convert sunlight into chemical energy. Virtually all the energy available for consumers of plant material originates from the sun through the process of photosynthesis.

The chemistry of photosynthesis is more obvious in the form of chemical equations. The generalised equation for phtosynthesis is:

Generalised equation for photosynthesis.

Where CH2O indicates a generalised equation for a carbohydrate or plant matter. Photosynthesis is wholly dependent upon chlorophyll. As light enters the chlorophyll molecule, it stimulates the production of an electron from an oxide of water, this then converts ADP into NADPH which then charges the Calvin Cycle leading to the formation of phosphoglyceric acid and the creation of carbohydrate.

To aid in the photosynthetic process seaweeds contain several different pigments that are responsible for creating their different colours:

Phylum – Pigment
Chlorophyta – Chlorophyll b
Phaeophyta – Chlorophyll c1 + c2 and Fucoxanthin
Rhodophyta – Phycoerythrin and phycocyanin