Relationship between Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

Thursday, April 2, 2020


Wouldn't it be nice if you could take the exhaust of your car and used it as fuel for your motorcycle and the exhaust of your motorcycle and use it for fuel your car? This would have a nice cycle in which both the car and motorcycle benefit.
Photosynthesis and cellular respiration have a similar relationship.  The products of photosynthesis are used in cellular respiration and the waste products of cellular respiration is fuel for photosynthesis.
In order to stay alive we need to eat. Do plants need food?
How do plants get food by just standing around all day? Plants get their energy using a process called photosynthesis. In order for photosynthesis to take place a plant needs three items, water, carbon dioxide and sunlight. 

How does photosynthesis work?
Plants have small openings called stomata on their surfaces.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere enter these tiny openings and travel to the chloroplasts.
Photosynthesis occurs at the chloroplasts when plants take carbon dioxide plus water and energy from the sun and in a chemical reaction creates sugar in the form of glucose and oxygen.
The sugar created during photosynthesis is used by the plant to create energy and the oxygen is released into the atmosphere.
You can define photosynthesis as the process by which plants and other things make food. It is a chemical process that uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugars that the cell can use as energy.
Why is cellular respiration important? It is important because  living organisms must generate energy for their daily activities. Cellular respiration provides this energy.
Cellular respiration takes place at the mitochondria. Think of the mitochondria as a power plant for cells similar to how cities use power plants for energy.
At the mitochondria the sugar in the form of glucose combines with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water and energy in the form of ATP.

In summary, photosynthesis takes carbon dioxide and water plus sunlight to create oxygen and sugar which is exactly what cellular respiration needs.
 Cellular respiration takes the sugar and oxygen to create carbon dioxide and water plus ATP which helps with photosynthesis.
This cycle repeats over and over again.

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