Sharkey, Thomas D. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
Last reviewed:April 2019
Show previous versions
- Major steps
- Alternative oxidase
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The metabolism in plants of organic molecules using enzymes to generate usable energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Plant respiration is an important biochemical process in plants whereby, in most cases, specific substrates are oxidized with a subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2). The adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generated by plant respiration (as well as that generated by photosynthesis) [Fig. 1] is used in plant cells to move things within the cell, to make new molecules needed for growth, and to power active transport (the pumping of ions or other substances across a cell membrane against an osmotic gradient). Most plant respiration is aerobic (that is, it requires the presence of oxygen, and is often termed aerobic or cellular respiration) and involves the oxidation of sugars to carbon dioxide. When oxygen is not present, anaerobic respiration, or fermentation, occurs, allowing some ATP synthesis. Fermentation is much less efficient in harvesting energy from organic molecules than aerobic respiration is, and most plants do not tolerate long periods of anaerobiosis. Plant respiration encompasses several pathways, including glycolysis, the Krebs cycle (also called the citric acid cycle or the tricarboxylic acid cycle), and oxidative electron transport. It occurs in all plant cells and is generally similar to animal respiration, with a few notable exceptions (such as a cyanide-insensitive respiration mechanism lacking in animals). See also: Adenosine triphosphate (ATP); Biological oxidation; Carbohydrate metabolism; Citric acid cycle; Energy metabolism; Enzyme; Oxygen; Plant metabolism; Plant physiology; Respiration
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information