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Photosynthesis & Respiration Similarities

Updated on July 26, 2012

Plants and photosynthetic microbes rely solely on the processes of photosynthesis and respiration to survive. Photosynthesis is unique to organisms containing chloroplasts, which exist only within plant cells. Respiration is used by every living organism on Earth. Respiration occurs when a food source is converted into energy and then released. This energy fuels the processes of life that doesn't contain chloroplasts. Both processes obtain energy very differently, but they have several basic similarities.

Photosynthesis is essential to all plant life on Earth.
Photosynthesis is essential to all plant life on Earth. | Source

Exchange of Gases

The processes of respiration and photosynthesis involve the exchange of the gases: carbon dioxide and oxygen. Photosynthesis converts vital carbon dioxide into oxygen, then the oxygen is released. Respiration acts in the opposite way of photosynthesis. Oxygen is used during respiration which causes carbon dioxide to be released. This type of exchange is cyclic, because one process relies solely on another process.

If cellular energy conversion was visible to the naked eye, the world around us would be a blur of light and energy.
If cellular energy conversion was visible to the naked eye, the world around us would be a blur of light and energy. | Source

Energy Conversion

Photosynthesis and respiration convert "food" energy into usable chemical energy. Plants transform sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into energy (glucose) and move it into storage for the future. Respiration converts glucose, water, and oxygen into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), carbon dioxide and water. Both conversions are chemical changes that permanently change the energy sources into usable energy.

Adenosine Triphosphate

All living organisms across the planet produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is like a charged battery and powers every function of a living cell. ATP can be used at any time but depletes over time. Organisms must recharge by using glucose. Adenosine triphosphate is essential to both respiration and photosynthesis. ATP is also the smallest form of usable energy among living things.

Electron transport occurs in photosynthesis and respiration.
Electron transport occurs in photosynthesis and respiration. | Source

Electron Transport

Electron transport is identical in photosynthesis and respiration, and electron transport relies on oxygen to function. Electron transport is a chain of electron carriers in the membrane of the mitochondria. Mitochondria is the powerhouse of each cell. Electrons are transported to oxygen through a series of reactions, and ATP is produced. Essentially, electron transport moves energy from cell to cell.

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      hooo 4 years ago

      howdy nice article they don't have these back in texas

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 5 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      Thank you for sharing. You article was very well thought out and articulated. I have voted up.