Photosynthesis and cellular respiration

The photosynthesis and respiration cell are two similar processes, but with different results. Photosynthesis is the biological process by which solar energy is used to transform carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen. On the other hand, cellular respiration is the biological process through which carbohydrates and oxygen are transformed into energy. They are similar but inverse processes.

PhotosynthesisCellular Respiration
DefinitionBiological process by which plants convert carbon dioxide from solar energy into oxygen.Physiological process through which gas exchange with the environment is generated.
What does it produce?-Glucose (C6H12O6)
-Oxygen O2
-Carbon dioxide (CO2)
-Water (H2O)
-ATP
Phases-Light
stage -Dark stage
-Glycolysis -Krebs
cycle or citric acid cycle
-Oxidative phosphorylation
Types-C3
photosynthesis
-C4 photosynthesis -CAM photosynthesis
-Aerobic respiration
-Anaerobic respiration
Who do it?Produced by photoautotrophic organisms:
-Plants
-Algae
-Cyanobacteria
Produced by most living organisms:
-Plants
-Animals
-Fungi
-Protozoa
-Bacteria

What is photosynthesis?

The Photosynthesis is the biological process by which plants convert carbon dioxide from solar energy, in oxygen. This process is the main nutrition mechanism for both plants (terrestrial and aquatic) and other autotrophic organisms that have chlorophyll such as algae and certain groups of batteries.

It is known as photosynthesis to the conversion of inorganic matter into organic matter thanks to the energy generated by sunlight. This energy is transformed into stable chemical energy and the first molecule in which it is housed is adenonine triphosphate (ATP). Then the ATP is used to synthesize the organic molecules of greater stability.

Photosynthesis is generated by photoautotrophic organisms: Plants, algae and cyanobacteria

What is photosynthesis for?

This biological process known as photosynthesis serves to feed the plant and the production of organic matter, since thanks to this process the plants renew the air, providing it with oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide.

What is the process of photosynthesis like?

The photosynthesis takes place in the leaves and green stems of plants, in special structures that have the plant cell called chloroplasts . These organelles have chlorophyll , which is a green pigment very sensitive to light energy and which uses this in a very efficient way to start the photosynthesis process.

In order to comply with the process, the two fundamental stages of photosynthesis need to be fulfilled: the first, which is the use of light and chlorophyll, and the second is when the plant no longer depends on light (dark stage ).

 Stages of photosynthesis

 As we detailed, photosynthesis requires the fulfillment of two stages, one light and the other dark.

-Luminous stage: this phase also called “light-dependent stage” is in which all the reactions that occur depend on the presence of light. During this stage, light is captured by chlorophyll allowing photolysis to take place (a reaction in which water breaks down hydrogen and oxygen). The result of this reaction is the release of oxygen to the environment and the hydrogen is used for other reactions that will take place in the same process.

-Dark stage: this phase is also known as the “light independent stage” since the reactions that occur in it no longer depend directly on light (this does not indicate that it should happen at night). It is also called as the carbon fixation phase.

The dark stage requires compounds that are formed in the light stage, and carbon dioxide that is taken from the environment. This dioxide combines with the hydrogen released in photolysis and other compounds to form glucose (sugar).

Types of photosynthesis

There are different types of photosynthesis, which plants will allow us to differentiate.

– C3 photosynthesis : this photosynthesis occurs in the vast majority of plants and occurs when carbon dioxide binds to the three-carbon phosphoglyceric acid molecule.

-C4 photosynthesis: this photosynthesis occurs in corn and sugar cane. Here the carbon dioxide binds to the four-carbon molecule oxaloacetic acid.

-CAM photosynthesis : this process is found in succulent plants.

Importance of photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is essential for life and for the respiration of all aerobic living beings, since through this process it is possible to fix the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thus release the oxygen that living beings require to live.

In addition, photosynthesis generates food thanks to the transformation of potential energy such as CO 2 , H 2 O into organic molecules rich in chemical energy such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, among others. They are used as food for producers and herbivores necessary for growth and repair.

Life on planet Earth is maintained especially thanks to the photosynthesis carried out by aquatic plants and terrestrial plants.

What is cellular respiration?

The cellular respiration is a physiological process by which a generated gas exchange with the environment. It takes place inside cells, in organelles called mitochondria. Fuel enters them, mainly glucose, and oxygen, and through a series of complex chemical reactions the energy that the cell needs to maintain itself is generated, they also produce waste substances that must be eliminated, such as CO2 and H2O.

In addition to feeding, plants need to breathe and in them the respiration process has the inverse of photosynthesis: glucose and oxygen are converted into carbon dioxide and water.

Unlike the process of photosynthesis, cellular respiration does not require the permanent presence of sunlight, since it occurs all the time (instead, photosynthesis occurs every so often).

This process of cellular respiration is produced by most living organisms: Plants, animals, fungi, protozoa, and bacteria.

Phases of cellular respiration

Within cellular respiration we can find three phases:

– Glycolysis : It consists of the first route of decomposition of glucose to generate energy, pyruvate and reducing agents.

-Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle : during this stage pyruvate enters a cycle of enzymatic reactions to achieve decomposition into carbon dioxide and thus produce ATP and reducing agents.

-. Oxidative phosphorylation : in this phase, the metabolic pathway captures electrons from reducing agents to produce more ATP.

Types of cellular respiration

Cellular respiration can be of two types depending on the compound that accepts the electrons:

-Aerobic respiration: this type of respiration is in which oxygen O2 is the molecule that accepts electrons to become water (H2O).

-Anaerobic respiration: this type of respiration occurs in environments where O2 is not present, such as some microorganisms (bacteria and archaea) that use other molecules as electron acceptors (for example, sulfate and nitrate).

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