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Unit: Photosynthesis and Respiration

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Unit: Photosynthesis and Respiration




Big Idea:

Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain homeostasis.


Enduring Understanding:

2.A.2: Organisms capture and store free energy for use in biological processes. 

2.A.3: Organisms must exchange matter with the environment to grow, to reproduce and maintain organization. 

4.A.2: The structure and function of subcellular components, and their interactions, provide essential cellular processes. 


Required Reading:

  • Campbell: Chapter 10, 9


    • The Mystery of the Seven Death


Learning Objectives:By the end of this unit, you should be able to.... 


Compare and describe the roles of CO2 and H2O in respiration and photosynthesis. (Ch 10)

2. Explain the importance of photosynthesis in the ecosphere and how organisms acquire energy through the process of photosynthesis and respiration.  (Ch 10)
3. Write and describe the balanced equation for photosynthesis in terms of where the products and reactants comes from/goes to. (Ch 10)
4. Propose experimental designs by which the rate of photosynthesis and cell respiration can be measured and studied. (Lab)
5. Describe how the structure of the leaf and and chloroplast relates to photosynthesis --> Especially the location of where different reaction occurs: Light reaction, chemiosmosis, dark reaction. (Ch 10.1)
6. Explain how photosystems convert solar energy to chemical energy. (Ch 10.2)
7. Utilize an action spectrum to explain the importance of pigments in the light reaction and how photons are absorbed. (Ch 10.2)
8. Outlines the major steps of light reaction through the light-harvesting complex and the reaction center.. (Ch 10.2)
9. Distinguish between the inputs and outputs of Photosystem II and Photosystem I. (Ch 10.2)
10. Compare and contrast noncyclic and cyclic electron flow. (Ch 10.2)
11. Create and use a model of electron transport across the thylakoid membrane to explain the production of ATP through chemiosmosis. (Ch 10.2)
12. Describe the goal of the Calvin Cycle, the inputs and outputs, and the importance of RuBp and rubisco in the Calvin cycle. (Ch 10.3)
13. Explain how phosphorylated intermediates are essential for part of the Calvin Cycle. (Ch 10.3)
14. From an evolutionary perspective, how did plants evolve to deal with photorespiration. (Ch 10.4)
15. Write and describe the balanced equation for respiration in terms of where the products and reactants comes from/goes to. (Ch 9)
16. Explain the differences between the two catabolic pathways: fermentation vs. cellular respiration. (Ch 9.1) 
17. Review redox reaction and be able to describe an reaction as either oxidation or reduction based on the information provided. (Ch 9.1)
18. Describe how the structure of mitochondria relates to cellular respiration and where different processes take place. (Ch 9.1)
19. Explain the role of glycolysis in oxidizing glucose to two molecules of pyruvate. (Ch 9.2)
20. Outline the process that brings pyruvate from the cytosol into the mitochondria (Pyruvate oxidation). (Ch 9.3) 
21. Describe the inputs and outputs of the citric acid cycle and the importance of the electron carriers NADH and FADH2. (Ch 9.3) 
22. Explain oxidative phosphorylation and how energy coupling works within the electron transport chain to produce ATP. (Ch 9.4)
23. Describe the role of oxygen in ATP synthesis . (Ch 9.4)
24. Compare and contrast alcohol fermentation to lactic acid fermentation  (Ch 9.5)
25. Describe how phosphofructokinase regulates respiration. (Ch 9.6)





Below is a list of vocabularyterms used in this unit. By the end of the unit, you will be able to write a working definition of each term and correctly use each term. 


photosynthesis heterotrophs autotrophs
mesophyll stroma thylakoid
chlorophyll light reaction Calvin Cycle
NADP+ photophosphorylation carbon fixation
electromagnetic spectrum photons absorption spectrum
chlorophyll a chlorophyll b carotenoid
photosystem II photosystem I primary electron acceptor
linear electron flow (noncyclic) cyclic electron flow chemiosmosis 
G3P rubisco C3
C4 CAM photorespiration
fermentation cellular respiration aerobic respiration
NAD+ electron transport chain glycolysis
citric acid cycle oxidative phosphorylation acetal coA
ATP Synthase alcohol fermentation lactic acid fermentation
beta oxidation   




    • Photosynthesis: Light Reaction:


Light Reaction Videos: Video.MOVVideo_1.MOVVideo_2.MOVVideo_3.MOVVideo_4.MOVVideo_6.MOVVideo_7.MOV

    • Photosynthesis: Calvin Cycle:


    • Cellular Respiration: Glycolysis and Fermentation:


Video 2: https://www.educreations.com/lesson/view/glycolysis-and-fermentation/42041132/?s=ViX0qI&ref=appemail


    • Cellular Respiration: Krebs Cycle:


Fliqz has shut down their service. To access this video, email support with this video id: e16f29001a0e4e22a28b0b6e2b3edebc

Krebs Cycle: IMG_4168.MOVIMG_4169.MOV 

    • Cellular Respiration: ETC: 


Extra Worksheets/Notes from past years/review/challenge materials:


Supplement Material/Websites:




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