This activity demonstrates the use of carbon by an aquatic plant. The process of photosynthesis can be represented by the reaction: CO2 + H20 + light _ C6H12O6 + O2. There are two distinct steps: the light dependent reactions (involving H20) and the light independent reactions (involving CO2). The light reactions supply the energetic molecules (ATP and NADPH) required to carry out the fixation of carbon from CO2 into larger organic molecules that can be formed into glucose. Though the carbon fixation reactions do not require light, they are dependent upon the energy (in the form of ATP and NADPH) supplied by the light reactions.

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