Colour of light effects Plant Growth

Topics: Photosynthesis, Light, Wavelength, Electromagnetic radiation / Pages: 9 (2606 words) / Published: Nov 18th, 2014
Colour of Light Effects on Plant Growth
Photosynthesis is the process of converting light energy to chemical energy and storing it in the bonds of sugar. Plants need water, Co2 and light energy to create sugar. Photosynthesis occurs mainly in leaves and in 2 phases: light reaction and dark reaction. The light reactions converts light energy to chemical (, 2014). This chemical reaction must take place in the thylakoid membrane. Chlorophyll (the green pigment involved in photosynthesis) and several other pigments are organised in clusters in the above membrane (Bailey, 2014). Each of these pigments are differently coloured and can absorb a slightly different colour of light and pass its energy to the central chlorophyll molecule to do photosynthesis.
Light contains all the colours of the visible light spectrum, from red to violet. Each colour has a different wavelength. The highest energy light is at the purple or violet end of the scale. It has short wavelengths. The red end is lower energy, it has long wavelengths. The shorter the wavelength the more energy a colour has. The colour you see when you look at an object is the colour that light is reflecting back at your eye. Plant leaves usually look green to us because they are reflecting the green back. This means that they are not absorbing the green light. They are absorbing the other wavelengths of light.
Chlorophyll looks green because it absorbs red and blue light, making these colours unavailable to see. It is the green light that is not absorbed what we see, making the chlorophyll appear green. However it is the energy from the absorbed red and blue light that is able to be used for photosynthesis. The green light we see can’t be absorbed by the plant, resulting in the green light not being able to complete photosynthesis (, 2014). Based on this you would expect the green light wouldn’t be the best for growing plants in the long term.
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Bibliography: Bailey, R. (2014). The Magic of Photosynthesis: How Plants Turn Sun into Energy. About. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from, David Whiting, C. (2011). Plant Growth Factors: Light. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from Effect of light colors on bean plant growth,. (2014). UCSB Science Line sqtest. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from Appendix

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