Image of the Day

40 / 364

Regulating photosynthesis

Let the Sun Shine In

WHOI biologist Sam Laney studies the daily lives of single-celled plants in the ocean known as phytoplankton. The organisms carry out photosynthesis within specialized organelles called chloroplasts, which contain the green pigment chlorophyll. The chloroplasts act like little factories, taking in raw materials (carbon dioxide) and energy (sunlight) to create products (sugars). But too much light energy on bright days can damange chlorophyll, and too little on cloudy days doesn’t provide enough energy. To cope, phytoplankton have accessory pigments called xanthophylls that act as gatekeepers. Click here to learn more. (Illustration by Amy Caracappa- Qubek and Katherine S. Joyce, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Image and Visual Licensing

Text, images, graphics and other material contained on this website are subject to copyright. For more information or to license material, please contact the Director of Digital Assets, or (508) 289-2647.

Explore Visual WHOI

Search multimedia database

License our Visuals