Autotrophic Nutrition

The ability to synthesize organic nutrients. Most of this is accomplished by Photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis - 2 steps

  1. Light Reaction - 'Photolysis' light is used to cut water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released and the hydrogen is carried to step 2 where it will be part of Glucose.
  2. Dark Reaction - Carbon Fixation
  3. No light is needed.

Hydrogen (from Step 1) combines with CO2 to form the 3 carbon compound PGAL. 2 PGAL compounds will combine.This forms Glucose: C6H12O6

Most photosynthesis occurs in the palisades mesophyll of the leaf where most chloroplasts are located.

Chloroplast...used for photosynthesis in Eukaryotic cells

More info


Some bacteria use chemicals such as sulfur to make food. These bacteria are the producers in the food chain found around the Smokers at the bottom of the ocean.

Open Ended Question

Photosynthesis: imagine your are a carbon atom. Describe your trip from the air into a dandelion plant. Then into a rabbit that eats that dandelion. Then is returned back to the air.
Why is it needed to include plants on a space station?