Class 11 Biology Photosynthesis In Higher Plants Pigments in photosynthesis

Pigments in photosynthesis

  • Pigments are substances that have an ability to absorb light, at specific wavelengths.
  • The colour of the leaves is due to four pigments such as
  • Chlorophyll a (bright or blue green in the chromatogram),
  • chlorophyll b (yellow green),
  • xanthophylls (yellow) and
  • carotenoids (yellow to yellow-orange)
  • The wavelengths at which there is maximum absorption by chlorophyll a, show higher rate of photosynthesis; hence, we can conclude that chlorophyll a is the chief pigment associated with photosynthesis.
  • Other thylakoid pigments, like chlorophyll b, xanthophylls and carotenoids, which are called accessory pigments, also absorb light and transfer the energy to chlorophyll a, and also protect chlorophyll a from photo-oxidation.


Fig. Chlorophyll a

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