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6. A student placed a test tube containing elodea (an aquatic plant) and pond water 10 cm from a
source. He observed that the plant wave off bubbles of a gas and counted how many bubbles were
released in one minute. He moved the plant farther away from the light source to see if distance from
the source made a difference. The data table below shows his results.
Light source
Gas Production
Distance from Light Bubbles Produced
per Minute
The gas that was being produced was most likely
A) carbon dioxide as a product of the process of respiration
B) carbon dioxide as a product of the process of photosynthesis
C) oxygen as a product of the process of respiration
D) oxygen as a product of the process of photosynthesis

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D) oxygen as a product of the process of photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a chemical pathway that’s integral to producing energy in plants and other primary producers. Energy in the form of molecules of glucose is produced from light, water and carbon dioxide while oxygen is released.

Further Explanation:

This occurs in several complex steps, photosynthesis is a rate limited reaction, depends on several factors including carbon dioxide concentration, ambient temperature and light intensity; the energy is retrieved from photons, I.e. particles of light, and water is used as a reducing agent. This begins in the thykaloids, where pigment molecules like chlorophyll reside.

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The chloroplast is a membrane bound organelle found in plants. It contains several invaginations of a plasma membrane called the thylakoid membrane. This contains chlorophyll pigments, in stacks called granum, while the internal spaces of the organelle are called the lumen. Liquid surrounds the granum, forming the stroma.

Particles of light, and water is used as a reducing agent.

6CO2 + 6H20 + (energy) → C6H12O6 + 6O2

or   Carbon dioxide + water =  energy (glucose) + oxygen

Water supplies the chlorophyll in plant cell with replacement electrons for the ones removed from photosystem II. Additionally, water (H2O) split by light during photolysis into H+ and OH- acts as a source of oxygen along with functioning as a reducing agent; it reduces the molecule NADP to NADPH by providing H+ ions. NADP and NADPH are integral to the Calvin cycle where monosaccharides or sugars like glucose are produced after the modification of several molecules.

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Respiration and photorespiration both utilize oxygen for;

  • the production of ATP via the oxidization of pyruvate;
  • and the oxygenation of the molecule Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP), an organic molecule also used in photosynthesis, to form 3-PGA + phosphoglycolic acid,


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