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Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration


Photosynthesis Vs Respiration


Plants give off oxygen that is used by both humans and most other animals. Certain processes are required for plants to perform their important functions. They are photosynthesis and cellular respiration. They have some common characteristics and in certain characteristics they differ from each other.

What is Photosynthesis?

•    The process where green plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to make food and oxygen.
•    Organisms make high-energy compounds

What is Respiration?

•    The process where cells use this food to release stored energy.
•    Involves the breakdown of compounds through chemical "oxidation".


This phenomenon occurs in chlorophyll containing plant cells. The plant cells use the compound chlorophyll to take the energy from sunlight, and combine it with carbon dioxide and water and produce oxygen and glucose. The event described as



Mitochondria, the cell factory within the cell make use of the glucose molecule. Mitochondria takes glucose breaks it down into atoms, and by mixing it with the atoms from more oxygen, produces carbon dioxide, water and energy. This reaction can be described as

6O2 + C6H12O6 --> 6H2O + 6CO2 + energy

The energy produced in this way by the mitochondria is in a form that can be easily utilized by all cells.


This energy is stored in the form of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, in which the covalent bonds between atoms store a lot of energy.

Factors Affecting Photosynthesis

The process of photosynthesis is influenced by various factors like temperature, carbon dioxide, sunlight and water.

Difference between Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration


    Occurs in plants and some bacteria.
•   Occurs within the chloroplasts.
•   Uses H2O, sunlight and CO2
•   Produces O2 and glucose.


•    Occurs in all living organisms.
•    Occurs within the mitochondria
•    Uses O2 and glucose
•    Gives off energy, CO2 and H2

Overall Effects of Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis

We can simply say that respiration involves taking electrons away from a substrate (oxidation), and in the process the substrate is degraded so that its carbon atoms are released as CO2. Oxygen is consumed here.
Glycolysis is an anaerobic catabolism of glucose that occurs in all the cells and produces two molecules of pyruvate and two molecules of ATP. It produces oxygen as a byproduct.
Thus, photosynthesis and cellular oxidation are nearly opposite biochemical processes.
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