Why It Matters: Metabolic Pathways

Why explain the metabolic pathways involved in the capture and release of energy in cells?

Every time you move—or even breathe—you’re using energy. All living things are continually using energy; thus, they need a way to create or obtain new energy. Two of these ways are photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

Plants (and other autotrophs) undergo photosynthesis to create energy. Humans (and other heterotrophs) on the other hand must consume something that has energy (like plants or other animals)—we take this energy and convert it into a form our body can use. This process is known as cellular respiration.

Watch this 5 minute video for an overview of why even small changes in the global climate have the potential for big impacts on our daily lives through our food sources.

  • What role does farming play in giving us energy to use every day?
  • How do plants get energy to grow, and how do we then get our energy from them?

Ok, let’s see where we get all the energy to stay awake during biology class!

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the role movement of electrons plays in energy exchanges in cells
  • Identify the basic components and steps of photosynthesis
  • Identify the reactants and products of cellular respiration and where these reactions occur in a cell
  • Illustrate the basic components and steps of fermentation