Importance of Pigments in Photosynthesis | Sciencing
Swirls of chlorophyll trace out the turbulent water patterns off the coasts of New Zealand in this image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s satellite on September 26, 2006. Just like land plants, the single-celled ocean plants known as phytoplankton contain chlorophyll to harness the Sun’s energy for photosynthesis. In large amounts, chlorophyll and other plant pigments create colorful patterns on the water’s surface. In this image, the amount of chlorophyll in the water is color-coded in shades of dark blue (little to no chlorophyll) to yellow (up to 20 milligrams of chlorophyll per cubic meter of water).
Plant Pigments and their role - SlideShare
There is another photosynthetic pigment called carotenoid in plants. The carotenoids also absorb light energy but they pass it to the chlorophyll molecules. Chlorophylls are blue–green (chlorophyll–a) or green (chlorophyll– b) in color whereas carotenoids are orange (carotenes) or yellow (xanthophyll). Chlorophyll is highly sensitive to light, but too much light may destroy it.
Different photosynthetic organisms use differentcombinations of pigments, which have differentcolors because they absorb and reflect differentfrequencies of light.
Plants and greenalgae (plants are really advanced green algae)contain chlorophyll a (which is teal-green),chlorophyll b (which is yellow-green), andbeta-carotene (which is yellow), thus giving thema green color. Brown algae and their unicellularrelatives (e.g. diatoms) have chlorophylla,chlorophyll c, and lipid pigments calledfucoxanthins,which together give them agolden-brown color. Red algae possess chlorophylla and lipid-based pigments called phycobilins,which give them the brilliant red(or deep blue)color. These different combinations of pigmentsare more or less efficient at collecting light atcertain frequencies and at certain levels of lightintensity (too much will damage the pigment).Thus, they parcel out the Sun's energy to make themost use of it and to not compete with otherphotosynthetic organisms.