Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

Web Resources

Kimball's Biology Pages - Photosynthesis: The Role of Light

Online Biology Book - PHOTOSYNTHESIS
Excellent survey of the main topics of photosynthesis. While plant biology is definitely not emphasized on the MCAT, it is advisable to have the basic fluency in case you run into a passage that uses plant biology as the context to test fundamentals in other areas. This link leads to a good tutorial for that purpose. It is not too complicated. Of course, it is a good thing to know about photosynthesis regardless of the MCAT.

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Special points of emphasis

Chemical Thermodynamics and the Equilibrium State


Bioenergetics and Cellular Respiration


You will find material for photosynthesis, and plant biology in general, within this MCAT course. If you are on an accelerated schedule, feel free to skip these sections because plant biology will not be tested on the MCAT. However, these sections will help you prepare for the MCAT by improving your general scientific awareness. I hope in this course can help you attain a level of scientific fluency that makes the world more coherent. MCAT students will find it useful to spend an hour here pure reading comprehension practice, freed of fact pressure. No stress.

Knowledge of photosynthesis definitely helps complete your understanding of oxidative metabolism. For carbon and oxygen, photosynthesis and oxidative respiration constitute a redox cycle. Carbon is reduced by electrons taken from oxygen in water in photosynthesis. Water is oxidized and carbon dioxide is reduced. This is an endergonic process driven by the input of light energy. In respiration, oxygen regains the electrons, reforming water, an exergonic process coupled with ATP synthesis. The combination of photosynthesis and oxidative metabolism couples the solar flux with the activities of life.

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