Q:

Are cellular respiration and photosynthesis related?

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Quick Answer

Cellular respiration and photosynthesis are closely related, as they are reciprocal processes. A simple summary of photosynthesis is the creation of carbohydrates through the combination of carbon dioxide and water with energy from the sun, with oxygen as a waste product. Cellular respiration is the use of oxygen to break down carbohydrates into water and carbon dioxide, releasing energy.

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Full Answer

Cellular respiration uses sugars, and animals which consume other forms of calories than carbohydrates, proteins and fats must first process them into a usable form. Cellular respiration is not the only way that heterotrophs gain energy from the environment, with both glycolysis and fermentation being independent of oxygen, but it is by far the most efficient.

The vast majority of species undergo cellular respiration, with a much smaller number engaging in photosynthesis. Nonetheless, photosynthesis is the main way that energy enters the biosphere, with the only exceptions being specialist organisms in extreme environments, such as deep-sea vents. Even the organisms that engage in photosynthesis, such as plants and algae, must conduct cellular respiration to support their own biological functions, since they cannot power those functions directly from sunlight. In these organisms, a portion of the carbohydrates created during photosynthesis is used in cellular respiration, with the remainder being used to build biological structures.

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  • Q:

    What are the products of cellular respiration?

    A:

    Cellular respiration produces six carbon dioxide molecules, six water molecules and 38 molecules of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, for every molecule of glucose. This process occurs in four stages: glycolysis, the transition reaction, the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain.

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  • Q:

    What is the function of pyruvate in cellular respiration?

    A:

    Pyruvate is involved in several steps of cellular respiration including glycolysis, where it is the product of glucose being broken down, the Kreb's cycle uses the pyruvate to complete its process as well. During vigorous exercise, pyruvate is turned into lactate to give more energy to the oxygen-starved muscles.

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  • Q:

    What are some products of cellular respiration?

    A:

    Cellular respiration products are water, carbon dioxide, heat and adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This applies to aerobic respiration. For anaerobic respiration, cellular respiration products are alcohol or lactic acid, carbon dioxide and ATP.

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  • Q:

    What Types of Organisms Use Cellular Respiration?

    A:

    All living organisms partake in some form of cellular respiration. This includes bacteria, fungi, protists, plants and animals. Cellular respiration is sometimes called aerobic respiration because it requires oxygen to occur, although a few organisms are capable of anaerobic respiration, respiration without oxygen.

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