Photosynthesis: Calvin Cycle Quiz

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12 Questions

Where does the Calvin cycle take place?


What is the main function of the Calvin cycle?

Fix carbon dioxide into organic compounds

Which enzyme is responsible for combining carbon dioxide with RuBP in the Calvin cycle?


What are the unstable three-carbon molecules formed in the Calvin cycle?

3-phosphoglycerate (3-PGA)

Which part of the chloroplast is involved in the Calvin cycle?


What type of reactions are the Calvin cycle also known as?

Dark reactions

What role do ATP and NADPH play in the Calvin cycle?

Supply energy and reducing equivalents to convert 3-PGA into G3P

How does the Calvin cycle achieve balance in terms of RuBP regeneration and resource availability?

Regulating enzyme activities and key molecule concentrations

Which practical application of photosynthesis involves improving crop plants for increased yield?

Genetic engineering

What process is essential for producing glucose and other sugars using G3P in the Calvin cycle?

Using G3P to regenerate RuBP

Why is understanding the Calvin cycle important in climate change research?

To study the impact of carbon dioxide concentrations on photosynthesis and the global carbon cycle

What is the primary function of the Calvin cycle in photosynthesis?

Fixing carbon and producing organic compounds and oxygen

Study Notes

Photosynthesis: Unraveling Nature's Energy Converter

Photosynthesis, a complex chemical process that occurs in plants, algae, and some bacteria, is the foundation of life on Earth. It's the primary way these organisms create their own food and oxygen, converting sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into glucose, oxygen, and other essential nutrients.

In this article, we'll delve into the Calvin cycle, a crucial part of photosynthesis that enables plants and algae to fix carbon.

The Light-Dependent Reactions of Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis starts with light-dependent reactions, which take place in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts. Here, light energy is used to excite electrons and create ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate).

The Calvin Cycle: The Carbon Fixation Pathway

The Calvin cycle, also known as the light-independent reactions (or dark reactions), is the process that fixes carbon dioxide into organic compounds like glucose. It occurs in the stroma, the fluid-filled space inside chloroplasts.

The cycle consists of three main stages:

  1. Carbon fixation: The enzyme RuBisCO (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) combines carbon dioxide with ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) to form unstable three-carbon molecules called 3-phosphoglycerate (3-PGA).

  2. Reduction: ATP and NADPH produced in the light-dependent reactions supply energy and reducing equivalents to convert 3-PGA into glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P).

  3. Regeneration: G3P is used to produce glucose and other sugars, while also regenerating RuBP for the cycle to continue.

Regulation of the Calvin Cycle

The Calvin cycle needs to balance the regeneration of RuBP with the availability of carbon dioxide and energy resources. This balance is achieved through the regulation of enzyme activities and the concentration of key molecules.

Applications of Photosynthesis and the Calvin Cycle

Understanding photosynthesis and the Calvin cycle has led to numerous practical applications, such as:

  1. Genetic engineering: Improving crop plants to increase photosynthetic efficiency and enhance crop yield.
  2. Biofuels: Developing alternative energy sources from biomass and algae.
  3. Climate change research: Studying the impact of carbon dioxide concentrations on photosynthesis and the global carbon cycle.


The Calvin cycle is a fundamental aspect of photosynthesis, allowing plants and algae to fix carbon and produce organic compounds and oxygen. Understanding this process, its regulation, and its applications can help us improve our own understanding of the world and develop sustainable solutions for the future.

Test your knowledge on the Calvin cycle, a crucial part of photosynthesis where carbon dioxide is converted into organic compounds. Learn about the three main stages of the cycle and its regulation, along with practical applications in genetic engineering, biofuels, and climate change research.

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