Why Do Green Plants Need Sunlight to Perform Photosynthesis?


Green plants use the process of photosynthesis to convert energy from sunlight into sugar. Using cellular respiration, the plant to transforms the sugar into adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the chemical form of energy stored inside the plant.


  • Green plants contain chlorophyll, a green pigment that absorbs sunlight.

Color of Light

  • According to the Biology Department of Clermont College at the University of Cincinnati, leaves appear green because chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light from the sun. The plant does not absorb green light.


  • Photosynthesis occurs mostly in a plant's leaves, which are positioned to receive sunlight.

Light Reaction

  • Plants harvest solar energy from sunlight to make ATP through a process called Light Reaction. Pigments in the plant absorb the sun's energy and use it to break down water molecules. Hydrogen and oxygen are set free, and the energy is stored in the form of ATP. Light Reaction can only occur in sunlight.


  • ATP is comprised of a nucleotide and three phosphate groups. It is similar to human DNA in molecular structure.


  • During the photosynthesis process, the plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the atmosphere.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of epSos .de
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