Photosynthesis & Cell. Respiration

By: Kevin Shi & Ethan Duong


The sun must be present in order for photosynthesis to take place, along with water and carbon dioxide (CO2). The plant also takes in sunlight to help with this process. Carbon dioxide is drawn in through the stomata, and the water is moved to the leaves through the roots and through the stem by capillary action, where photosynthesis occurs within the chloroplasts, present in the leaves. The end result is the formation of glucose and excess oxygen. The glucose is stored in the plant's fruit or roots, while the oxygen is released back into the atmosphere back through the stomata.

Equation for photosynthesis: 6CO2+6H2O+energy --> C6H12O6+6O2

As photosynthesis requires a renewable source of carbon dioxide, photosynthesis cannot occur without cellular respiration taking place in other organisms.

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Cellular Respiration

Cellular respiration is a cellular process that occurs in the mitochondria while photosynthesis occurs within the chloroplast of a plant cell. Cellular respiration breaks down sugars and releases carbon dioxide. Like photosynthesis cellular respiration requires a gas and water to be present in order to carry out. However unlike photosynthesis cellular respiration requires oxygen instead of carbon dioxide.

Aerobic Respiration

Cellular respiration has two main forms anaerobic and aerobic cellular respiration. In aerobic respiration carbohydrates and oxygen must be present, aerobic respiration produces carbon dioxide, water and energy (ATP). Aerobic respiration has three main stages glycolysis where glucose is broken down, Kreb's cycle which is also known as the citrus cycle, and the electron transport train that produces ATP.

Oxygen is inhaled through the lungs and is then transported throughout the body via the iron rich hemoglobin that is within blood cells, while the carbohydrates present in food are extracted from the small intestine where it is sent throughout the body from the blood stream.

The equation is O2 + C6H12O6 ---> CO2 + H2O + energy

Anaerobic Respiration

Anaerobic respiration is different than aerobic due to a lack of oxygen. When anaerobic respiration is the process of creating cellular energy without the use of oxygen This occurs quickly and produces 2 ATP.

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Comparing Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

Without photosynthesis occurring, there would be no oxygen to allow other organisms to carry out cellular respiration, while without carbon dioxide from cellular respiration, then photosynthesis could also not occur. This shows how cellular respiration and photosynthesis are closely dependent and related to each other.

Cellular respiration and photosynthesis are nearly the same processes, except that they are opposite to each other. Photosynthesis produces the reactants needed in cellular respiration (glucose and oxygen), and the same being for cellular respiration, producing carbon dioxide, water, and energy (ATP). This shows how both processes are highly dependent on each other for their continuation.

An example of an organism that conducts photosynthesis would be an oak tree. An organism that will conduct cellular respiration will be a wolf. An oak tree gathers carbon dioxide and sunlight through the stomata on it's leaves. Wolves don't need carbon dioxide, they require oxygen, and wolves gather oxygen by inhaling it into their lungs.

Both processes produce energy for the organism conducting either cellular respiration or photosynthesis. However photosynthesis only occurs in plants while cellular respiration occurs in both plants and animals, which is why plants, while important to the biosphere, also remove much of the oxygen from the atmosphere to carry out cellular respiration. Oak trees gathers necessary water for photosynthesis through it's roots, while an animal like a wolf gets water from drinking it from a water source, displaying different ways to gather the same materials.

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