Hey everyone I'm starting my journey as a carbon atom!
I finally found a plant!
As a carbon atom I have 6 protons and neutrons in my nucleus and 6 electrons floating around my outside. This makes it way easier for me to mix with other atoms to make bigger molecules. I'm starting my journey floating in the air. I'm hoping to land in a nice plant.
Yay! Now I get to go live in a puppy!
Once I enter a nice plant, photosynthesis begins. The sun swoops me up and transfers me into the plant where many things can happen. On my journey i even learned why plants have a green color. It's because of their chloroplast! I also learned that light is very important to the plants life.
Wow this puppy is big!
Light dependent reactions only happens when the sun is out. One of the most important parts of this reactions is called NADP+. It is an electron carrier molecule that accepts high-energy electrons when they are set free when the chlorophyll absorbs the sunlight. It also accepts hydrogen (H+) which makes the NADPH molecule. All the active and function of the cell rely on the ATP molecule. ATP is made by adding a phosphate group to something called an ADP molecule. This reaction happens inside the thylakoids. In order to keep this cycle going the electrons and hydrogen ions have to be replaced.
Yay! I'm free!
Light independent reaction, aka, the Calvin Cycle uses the energy from the 1st reaction and can be done without a light source. The light dependent reaction traps sunlight to make ATP & NADPH molecules that give off O2 gas. The CO2 molecule enters the Calvin Cycle from the atmosphere. An enzyme in the liquid stroma of the chloroplast mixes the CO2 molecule with other carbon-based molecules that already live in the organelle. This mixture of molecules create three-carbon compounds that continue in the reaction cycle. For every 6 CO2 molecules that enter the cycle, 12 three-carbon molecules are made. These 3-carbon molecules are broken down by removing some of the atoms that are connected to the carbons. The energy from the ATP & NADPH molecules are used to make these reactions.
Once I'm finished in the photosynthesis cycle I move on to the cellular respiration cycle. Unlike photosynthesis, cellular respiration happens in all living organisms. During Cellular Respiration, sugar is broken down to two things, CO2 and H2O. Also during this process ATP is made and it can be used for cellular work.
Now that I have entered the animal I can tell that it is way different from the plant. Cellular respiration has four stages. They are known as glycolysis, Link reaction, the Krebs cycle, and the electron transport chain. Sometimes cells don't get enough oxygen, they use anaerobic respiration, which doesn’t need oxygen at all. This process produces lactic acid, and makes less energy than when oxygen is used. Some anaerobic organisms use only anaerobic respiration.
As the puppy runs and plays he exhales me as carbon dioxide. This allows me to go back into the air where I can be sucked up back inside another plant and go through this journey all over again!
"Biology Notes for A Level. "http://biology4alevel.blogspot.com/2015/08/100-light-dependent-reactions.html. August 28, 2015. Houghton, Miflin, Harcourt. Cliffnotes. "Cellular Respiration." www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/biology/microbiology/microbial-metabolism/cellular-respiration. Date Accessed - September 30, 2018 McGinley, Dr. Mark A. "Light Independent Reactions of Photosynthesis." www.slideshare.net/MarkMcGinley/light-independent-reactions-of-photosynthesis. February 23, 2012