Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Energy Nucleotide - P2
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
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Page last updated: 9/2015
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How Is ATP Made?
ATP is produced by autotrophs during photosynthesis, as described above, and is also produced by both autotrophs and heterotrophs during a process known as cellular respiration.
In cellular respiration food molecules are catabolized (broken down) and the released energy is transformed into ATP.
most commonly glucose, are the food source typically used to make ATP. Carbs can be catabolized through the processes of cellular respiration
Aerobic cellular respiration utilizes glycolysis, synthesis of acetyl-CoA, Krebs cycle, and electron transport chain; the end result being the complete breakdown of glucose into carbon dioxide, water and ATP energy. Through these catabolic pathways, up to 38 molecules of ATP can be made from every molecule of glucose. Oxygen is a vital component of this highly efficient process, hence the name "aerobic respiration". Anaerobic respiration and fermentation are used to derive energy from glucose by organisms that either cannot survive in the presence of oxygen or don’t always have access to oxygen. Fermentation is less energy efficient than aerobic or anaerobic cellular respiration. Still, even in the absence of oxygen, anaerobes can utilize glycolysis to break down glucose and ultimately net a only two ATP.
Where is ATP Made?
In eukaryotic cells, complex cells that possess a nucleus, ATP is synthesized in tiny energy factories called mitochondria. In more primitive prokaryotes ATP synthesis occurs in the cytoplasm and cytoplasmic membrane.
- Bauman, R. (2014) Microbiology with Diseases by Body System, 4th ed., Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
- Park Talaro, K. (2008) Foundations in Microbiology, McGraw-Hill.