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Question Video: Recalling the Sugar That Is Transported around the Plant Biology

The glucose made in photosynthesis is converted into a different sugar to be moved around the plant in translocation. What sugar is glucose converted into?

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Video Transcript

The glucose made in photosynthesis is converted into a different sugar to be moved around the plant in translocation. What sugar is glucose converted into?

Let’s start by discussing a few key terms. Photosynthesis is the process by which organisms, like green plants, convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars, like glucose, and oxygen in the presence of light energy. Glucose is a sugar that can be used in cellular respiration to release energy. Translocation is the process by which materials in the plant are moved from where they’re made, the source, to where they’re needed, the sink. The prefix trans- means across, referring to the directional movement of substances, and the suffix -location refers to the places they are moved from and to.

Before we discuss the sugar into which glucose is converted, let’s discuss why glucose needs to be moved and then why it needs to be converted into another form. Glucose is needed in all plant cells for them to release energy to carry out important life processes, such as growth and division. As it is produced in photosynthetic cells and not all plant cells are photosynthetic, it needs to be moved or translocated to those nonphotosynthetic cells. Glucose needs to be converted into another sugar to avoid reacting with oxygen in aerobic respiration while being moved. Otherwise, glucose might not reach its destination where it is needed.

Let’s now return to the question to find out which sugar glucose is converted into. Glucose combines with another sugar called fructose to make a sugar called sucrose. Sucrose can be translocated because it is a nonreducing sugar. Nonreducing means that it does not react with oxygen during aerobic respiration while being transported. So, the answer to the question is that glucose is converted into a sugar called sucrose to be moved around the plant in translocation.

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