Glucose is a simple sugar, produced by photosynthesis, that has the chemical formula C6H12O6. In plants, glucose has five main uses.
|For respiration||Both aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration break down glucose to release energy.|
|Cellulose||Glucose molecules can combine to form this complex carbohydrate. It strengthens the cell walls in the plant.|
|Starch||Starch is a form of glucose storage that is more useful for plants.|
Unlike glucose, starch is insoluble, meaning it won’t draw water into the cell by osmosis. If water gets into the cell, it can cause it to swell up.
Later on, the cell will break down the starch back into glucose. For example, during times of low photosynthesis rates, such as during winter or at night.
|Amino acids||Plants can combine glucose with nitrate ions from the soil to form amino acids. Then the amino acids combine to make proteins.|
|Oils and fats||Can be stored as a future source of energy.|