A process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and many species of bacteria, but not in archaea. In plants, algae, and cyanobacteria, photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water, releasing oxygen as a waste product. Photosynthesis is vital for life on Earth. As well as maintaining the normal level of oxygen in the atmosphere, nearly all life either depends on it directly as a source of energy, or indirectly as the ultimate source of the energy in their food

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