Photorespiration Vs. Photosynthesis


Photorespiration is a process that takes place when CO2 levels in leaf cells are low. It reduces the efficiency of photosynthesis and the net productivity of the plant. Some plants have evolved alternate methods of photosynthesis that help to minimize losses to photorespiration.


  • The second phase of photosynthesis involves the dark or light-independent reactions. At the start of the light-independent reactions, carbon dioxide is added to a five-carbon sugar, creating a six-carbon sugar that will participate in a series of further reactions to form glucose. In photorespiration, by contrast, oxygen is added to the five-carbon sugar instead of carbon dioxide.


  • Photorespiration forms 3-phosphoglyceric acid and glycolate; the former is recycled through the Calvin cycle, whereas the latter is taken up by structures inside the cell called peroxisomes, which help break down the glycolate. Ultimately the process of photorespiration consumes oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. Since it reduces the efficiency of photosynthesis, it's largely counterproductive but nonetheless plays an important role in plant cells.


  • Some plants have evolved alternative photosynthetic processes that minimize photorespiration. Plants like corn, sugarcane and cacti are common in many environments thanks to these adaptations.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Chemosynthesis Vs. Photosynthesis

    Chemosynthesis and photosynthesis are processes by which organisms use an energy source to create food. These processes have similarities and differences, but...

  • C3 Versus C4 Plants

    You've probably heard of photosynthesis before - the process plants use to convert sunlight into chemical energy. As it happens, however, not...

  • Anaerobic Respiration in Plants

    In the plant world, anaerobic respiration, or respiration without using oxygen, is known as fermentation. This process is commonly used to our...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!