Mechanism of water splitting in photosynthesis

A mechanism that occurs in the organisms that possess a pigment termed chlorophyll for light absorption to convert the solar energy into chemical form is termed photosynthesis. This process can be observed to occur in eukaryotic organisms such as plants and algae, and prokaryotic unicellular organisms termed bacteria.

Types of photosynthesis The requirement for the availability of the gaseous component oxygen divides the process of photosynthesis into two types: oxygenic photosynthesis which is observed in plants, algae, and bacteria and requires oxygen and the others is being anoxygenic photosynthesis which has no requirement for oxygen. The type of photosynthesis which requires the supply of oxygen involves electron transfer on encountering energy from water molecules to the carbon dioxide for production of molecules made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen termed as carbohydrates. This process yield oxygen as a product with a reduction of the carbon dioxide and oxidation of the electron donor that is water. This process utilized the carbon dioxide which is exhaled by the organisms during breathing and generates oxygen which is utilized by the organisms for inhalation. The net reaction includes the reduction of six carbon dioxide molecules in the presence of twelve molecules of water and energy in the form of sunlight to yield a carbohydrate molecule known as glucose along with six molecules of oxygen and water as products.

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The photosynthetic apparatus Chlorophyll is a photosensitizer that is located within the chloroplast organelle within the cell. Stroma present within the chloroplast is a non-membrane water-soluble material. Chloroplast within the chlorophyll is further confined in the system of membrane called the thylakoid membrane.

The photosynthetic process
The plant’s photosynthetic reaction is of two types, and one is that requires the presence of sunlight and the other does not. Both the type of reaction occurs in chloroplast. The reactions of photosynthesis that is dependent on the light energy for occurrence termed as light-dependent reactions occur in the thylakoid region of the chloroplast and are spatially separated from the light-independent reactions occurring in the chloroplast stroma.

Light-dependent reactions – Chlorophyll, the green pigment of the plant releases an electron when the photon which is a unit of energy in light strikes the chlorophyll’s reaction center. The electron emitted then participates in ATP synthesis which occurs by electron transport chain. The product of this reaction that is released into the atmosphere for direct respiratory utilization by other organisms is oxygen.

Light-independent reactions – This reaction is also known as the Calvin cycle. Here the reaction produces adenosine triphosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), which compensate for the energy requirement of light-independent reactions that occur in a cyclic process known as the Calvin cycle. The three main steps of the Calvin cycle that use water and biocatalysts for product generation are carbon fixation, reduction, and regeneration.

Mechanism of water splitting in photosynthesis

The photosynthesis in plants takes place in a series of steps and chemical reactions that use water, carbon dioxide, and solar energy to produce oxygen as a byproduct and organic compounds. First, the molecule of chlorophyll pigments is excited due to solar energy. They donate their electron to initiate a flow of energized electrons that are essential in the photosynthetic process. The electrons that are donated by chlorophyll have to be replaced and these electrons come from the splitting of water, by a process known as photolysis, catalyst, and light energy act together to cause the splitting of water into oxygen, proton, and electron. The enzyme that catalyzes the reaction consists of manganese and calcium that are situated in photosystems embedded in the thylakoid membrane in the chloroplast.

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