Anaerobic Respiration

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  • Anaerobic Respiration
    • Plants
      • Glycolysis continues to happen in the absence of oxygen continuously producing NADH and pyruvate
        • These have to be reformed regularly to keep glycolysis going
        • The hydrogen ion on the NADH molecule in particular needs to be removed to regenerate NAD
      • NAD is regenerated by the pyruvate accepting the hydrogen ions from NADH and releasing carbon dioxide to produce ethanol.
      • The only ATP formed in anaerobic respiration is that made in glycolysis so only 2 ATP as pyruvate can't go on to the link reaction because it is now ethanol
    • Animals
      • The ability to anaerobically respire is essential to animals survival.
        • In low oxygen concentrations such as underwater, in mountains or straight after birth it prevents death
      • Animals regenerate NAD by reducing the pyruvate to lactate
        • This is a reversible reaction so lactate returns to pyruvate in the presence of oxygen. This is known as repaying the oxygen debt
        • Lactate causes muscle fatigue and cramp if it is allowed to accumulate so must be oxidised or taken to the liver to form glycogen
      • The only ATP formed in anaerobic respiration is that formed in glycolysis so is 2 ATP. Only a small fraction of that formed in aerobic respiration


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