Compare: Photosynthesis VS Cellular Respiration

(This Post Contains 2 Comics)
When we compare photosynthesis VS cellular respiration, we can see that they are opposites with each other.  In nature, these 2 processes are constantly happening…It is almost like a “Circle of Life”.

20170715 Photosynthesis vs Cellular Respiration p2
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Comparing these 2 processes closely, we can see that they are very similar–except they are opposites with each other:
Photosynthesis takes in energy from light to covert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen.
Cellular respiration, in the contrary, releases ATP-energy , and it coverts molecules in the exact opposite way: Converting glucose and oxygen into carbon dioxide and water.
Note: Plants engage in both photosynthesis and cellular respiration, but animals can only engage in cellular respiration (because animals cannot perform photosynthesis).

20170715 Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration p1c
(Click to Enlarge)


Next Generation Science Standards:

MS-LS1-3.  Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.

MS-LS1-6.  Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.

MS-LS1-7.  Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.

HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

HS-LS1-3.  Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.

HS-LS1-5. Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.

HS-LS1-6.  Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.

HS-LS1-7.  Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed resulting in a net transfer of energy.

HS-LS2-3.  Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

HS-LS2-5.  Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.

What Science Does this Comic Teach?

Unit: Cell Biology

⇒Chapter: Photosynthesis

⇒Topic: Comparison: Photosynthesis VS Cellular Respiration

Additional Information


Chloroplasts are organelles containing a special pigment called chlorophyll and are responsible for making photosynthesis happen.  Chloroplasts are usually found in plant cells.

Cellular Respiration

Cellular respiration is the process that supplies the cells (as well as a large organism like a human) with the energy necessary for survival.  We eat food and breathe air for the very purpose of gathering the necessary materials to keep cellular respiration going nonstop.  The process of cellular respiration is carried out by cells’ mitochondria.


They are the “ingredients” of a chemical reaction.  In a chemical reaction, reactants are used to produce “products”, which are the end results of a reaction.


Glucose is the simplest form of sugar and contains a lot of energy–think of the phrase “sugar-rush”.  Because it is “simple”, it can be easily absorbed into an organism’s body/cells to provide the organism with energy.



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