Cluster Of Pigments And Proteins That Absorbs Light – In photosynthesis, the sun’s energy is converted to chemical energy by photosynthetic organisms. This kind organisms contain light-absorbing molecules called pigments that absorb only specific wavelengths of visible light, while reflecting others. Two groups of pigments that are important in plants: chlorophylls and carotenoids.
Cluster Of Pigments And Proteins That Absorbs Light – When a pigment absorbs a photon of light, it becomes excited, meaning that it has extra energy and is no longer in its normal, or ground, state. At a subatomic level, excitation is when an electron is bumped into a higher-energy orbital that lies further from the nucleus. Pigments that absorb in the visible region gain just enough energy to boost an electron to the next level
Carotenoids are another key group of pigments that absorb violet and blue-green light (see spectrum graph above). The brightly colored carotenoids found in fruit—such as the red of tomato (lycopene), the yellow of corn seeds (zeaxanthin), or the orange of an orange peel. This is a class of accessory pigments that occur in all photosynthetic organisms. They are completely hydrophobic (fat soluble) and exist in lipid membranes. Carotenoids absorb light maximally between 460 nm and 550 nm.
The most important function of carotenoids seems to be protecting the plant from free radicals formed from ultra violet or other radiation. Free radicals are dangerous because they contain an extra odd e- they don’t really want to have. This means that they are constantly trying to get rid of this extra electron. They do this by attacking whatever bonds they can.
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