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4 years ago
Describe the similarities and differences between the biochemical pathways of aerobic respiration and photosynthesis in eukaryotic cells. Include in your discussion the major reactions, the end products, and energy transfers.
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I always like to think of these as being two opposing reactions.  Aerobic respiration involves the breakdown of carbohydrates and the derivation of energy from those carbohydrates.  This involves the generation of pyruvate in the cytoplasm (glycolysis), the generation of NADH and FADH2 in the Krebs cycle (mitochondria) and the passing of electrons down the electron transport chain in the mitochondria, which generates a proton gradient in the intermembrane space, the potential energy of which is used by ATP synthase to generate ATP.  Molecular oxygen acts as the final electron acceptor.

Photosynthesis works kind of in reverse, but the enzymes are different.  The end game of photosynthesis is to take two end products of aerobic respiration (water and carbon dioxide) and generate oxygen and carbohydrates, two of the starting materials for aerobic respiration.  I'm not an expert on photosynthesis, so I'll leave a little research on that for you, but it is similar to aerobic respiration in that it involves a cascade of enzymatic reactions and shuttling events.  The energy for photosynthesis comes from sunlight rather than the catabolism of foodstuffs as in aerobic respiration.
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