Photosynthetic Pigments

Natural sunlight is a mixture of all the colors of light.

Photosynthetic plant pigments have the capability to absorb certain wavelengths (colors) of light & change the light energy to chemical energy.

The plant pigments are found in chloroplasts on the thylakoids.

4 Plant Pigments

1. Chlorophyll a: Light to medium green. Main photosynthetic pigment.

2. Chlorophyll b: Blue-green. Accessory Pigment.

3. Carotene: Orange. Accessory Pigment.

4. Xanthophyll: Yellow. Accessory Pigment.

Accessory pigments absorb other colors of light (green) that chlorophyll a can't absorb. They help boost energy absorption.

Think of plant pigments as being like TV antennas. Each type of pigment absorbs and uses a different wavelength of light (just as antennas pick up different stations). All the pigments are linked together, to give the energy they pick up to then energize electrons.