Context[change | change source]
Using the radioactive carbon-14 isotope as a tracer, Calvin, Andrew Benson and their team mapped the complete route that carbon travels through a plant during photosynthesis. They traced the carbon-14 from its absorption as atmospheric carbon dioxide to its conversion into carbohydrates and other organic compounds. The single-celled algae Chlorella was used to trace the carbon-20.
Steps[change | change source]
The steps in the cycle are as follows: 
3. Leave: A trio of three carbons leave and become sugar. The other trio moves on to the next step.
4. Switch: Using ATP and NADPH, the three carbon molecule is changed into a five carbon molecule.
5. The cycle starts over again.
The product[change | change source]
The carbohydrate products of the Calvin cycle are three-carbon sugar phosphate molecules, or 'triose phosphates' (G3P). Each step of the cycle has its own enzyme which speeds up the reaction.
References[change | change source]
- "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1961 Melvin Calvin". nobelprize.org. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Bassham J, Benson A, Calvin M (1950). "The path of carbon in photosynthesis". J Biol Chem 185 (2): 781–7. PMID 14774424. http://www.jbc.org/cgi/reprint/185/2/781.pdf.
- Calvin M. 1956, "The photosynthetic cycle.", Bull. Soc. Chim. Biol., 38 (11), pp. 1233–44, PMID 13383309
- Barker S.A. et al 1956, "Intermediates in the photosynthetic cycle.", Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 21 (2), pp. 376–7, doi:10.1016/0006-3002(56)90022-1, PMID 13363921
- Calvin, Melvin 1961. "The path of carbon in photosynthesis" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- Sadava, David et al 2009. Life: the science of biology. Macmillan, p199–202. ISBN 1429219629.