Cellular Respiration

Cellular respiration is the aerobic harvesting of energy from molecules of food. It is the energy-releasing chemical breakdown of molecules of food, like glucose, and the storage of potential energy in a form the cells can use for work. The process of cellular respiration involves glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation, which consists of the electron transport chain and chemiosmosis. Glycolysis, which takes place in the cytoplasmic fluid, is a multistep chemical breakdown of one glucose molecule into two pyruvate molecules. The citric acid cycle, which takes place in the mitochondria’s matrix, is a metabolic cycle. It is fueled by acetyl CoA (formed after glycolysis). In this, chemical reactions complete the breakdown of glucose into CO2.  The cycle provides most of the NADH molecules that give energy to electron transport chain. The electron transport chain release energy to make ATP, and is located in the inner membrane of mitochondria, plasma membrane of prokaryotes, and thylakoid membranes of plant chloroplasts. Chemiosmosis is the ARP production using energy from hydrogen ion gradients across membranes to phosphorylate ADP. All aerobic organisms including animals and plants, such as the Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) pictured, perform cellular respiration.

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