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C4 And Cam Photosynthesis Essay

706 words - 3 pages

Part A

C4 and CAM photosynthesis are considered advantageous to plants that exhibit them because of the special “add-on” features they display. C4 photosynthesis reduces photorespiration and water loss. The reduction of photorespiration is due to the fact that carbon dioxide is moved to a specialized cell known as a bundle sheath cell which surrounds the leaf veins and they themselves are surrounded by mesophyll cells. (Photosynthesizing cells) Bundle sheath cells rarely ever come in contact with an intercellular space thus minimal oxygen reaches them. This lack of oxygen allows rubisco to fix with carbon dioxide without having to compete with oxygen. Therefore, little ...view middle of the document...

However, both C4 and CAM photosynthesis use the fixing enzyme PEP(phosphoenolpyruvate). PEP fixes with carbon dioxide to form OAA (axaloacetate) in C4 and CAM plants. The second difference is the efficiency of photosynthesis. C4 plants use PEP which has a higher affinity for carbon dioxide than rubisco, which is used by C3 plants. C4 plants also pump carbon dioxide to bundle sheath cells whereas C3 plants do not have the option, and this in turn keeps carbon dioxide concentration higher than that of oxygen within the plant. This increases sugar production. The final difference between C3 and C4 and CAM photosynthesis is the ability to survive in hot and dry climates. The high rates of photosynthesis in a C4 plant allow the species to reduce the amount of time their stomata are open which reduces water loss, allowing them to survive in environments such as deserts. CAM plants are also able to withstand dry climates whereas C3 plants cannot. CAM plants close their stomata during the day and open them at night to take in carbon dioxide. This allows photosynthesis to occur during the day when their stomata are closed which prevents...

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