Photosynthesis Pigments

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The chlorophylls the green pigment of plants are the most important pigments active in the presence of photosynthesis .There are eight types of chlorophyll pigments- chlorophyll a, b, c, d and e, bacteriochlorophyll-a, bacteriochlorophyll b and bacteriovirdin. Of these chlorophyll a is most nearly or universal occurrence being present, in all photosynthetic organisms except the green and purple bacteria. Chlorophyll b is found in all higher plants and in the green algae, but is not found in algae of most other classes .The other chlorophylls c, d and e are found only in algae and in combination with chlorophyll a, bacteriochlorophyll and are present in the purple bacteria whereas the green bacteria contain the pigment called bacteriovirdin.All of the chlorophylls are very similar in chemical composition and all of them are compounds which contain magnesium.
Carotenoids: They are red, orange, yellow, and brownish pigments. They are present in variable concentrations in nearly all higher plants and many microorganisms such as red and green algae, photosynthetic bacteria and fungi.

Beta carotene, the major carotenoid is orange- yellow pigment and found in plant tissues. The carotenoid which consists of carbon and hydrogen are known as carotene, while the carotenoids containing oxygen are called xanthophyll which is found more frequently in nature than the carotenes. The major xanthophyll is generally found in green leaves.

The carotenoids are located in the chloroplasts and chromatophores.They occurs there as water insoluble protein complexes.

Phycobillins: The phycobillins are found only in algae, the red and blue phycobillins are called phycoerythrins and phcocyanins, respectively. They are active in the transfer of light energy to chlorophylls for utilization in the process of photosynthesis.

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