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Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis Essay

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Photosynthesis and respiration are both processes that are necessary for the survival of organisms. However, in numerous ways these two processes are very diverse as they are responsible for distinct necessities. Therefore they both have similarities and differences. One major difference between the two is that photosynthesis takes place completely in plants while respiration occurs equally in plants and animals. Nevertheless to understand Photosynthesis and respiration, we need to understand what is photosynthesis and cellular respiration and examine each of these processes in detail and associate them to the parts of a cell responsible for each function.

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Photosynthesis is the procedure in which green plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to make food and oxygen and cellular respiration is the process where cells use this food to release stored energy. With that being said we can beginPlant cells retain chloroplasts. These functions within the plant cells use a compound named chlorophyll to obtain energy through the sun and combine with water and carbon dioxide to fabricate glucose (type of sugar) and oxygen. The chemical equation describing this effect, photosynthesis is written this way: 6CO2+6H2O+energy →6O2+C6H12O6. By this meaning that each separate reaction, the chloroplast requires 6 water molecules and 6 carbon molecules, and additionally little sunlight energy. From these it can produce, by breaking down the molecules and reorganizing the particular atom, exactly 1 glucose molecule and 6 oxygen molecules.

Containing a total of 24 atoms, the glucose molecule is large. It takes energy to generate this large molecule and this energy remains stored in the molecule awaiting to be released in respiration. Thus, energy can be moved from place to place.

Other functions within the cell utilize the glucose molecule; this cell section is called mitochondria. Every mitochondrion obtains glucose, breaks it down into atoms, and by combining it with atoms from more oxygen, creates carbon dioxide, water and energy; energy in a form that can be used by all cells. The chemical equation describing this outcome, cellular respiration, is written this way: 6O2+C6H12O6→6H2O+6CO2+energy. By this meaning that each particular reaction, the mitochondrion requires a glucose molecule and 6 oxygen molecules. From these, using the energy stored in the bonds of glucose molecule, it can generate 6 water molecules, 6 carbon dioxide molecules and a new type of energy.

Cellular respiration can utilize other molecules beside glucose, but it always results in energy, water and carbon dioxide. When the energy is manufactured this way by the mitochondria it is a form that can be easily used by all cells.

The energy is stored by constructing a special molecule called ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, by which the covalent bonds between atoms (between phosphate components of the molecule) store a lot of energy.

The other products of respiration, carbon dioxide and water, can be reused by the cells doing photosynthesis. The ATP is transmitted to the other cells in the organism to provide them with an energy source. This is specifically important, for plants, because they can’t get new energy when the sun isn’t available, so ATP also offers a way for them to store up energy supplies.

The tissues of the plant contain organic compounds (compounds created by a living organism) and all these compounds contain some ATP the plant has created. Hence, the plant becomes an energy source for other organisms; consumers like insects or cows, which eat the plants.

In conclusion, photosynthesis and cellular respiration are the main pathways of energy flow in living things. In the end we see that both photosynthesis and cellular respiration are necessary for living organisms. Both work as biochemical pathways, always recycling and continuing the process. There are some differences and some similarities between them.



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