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Efficiency of ATP Prodution

Author(s): Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

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This module introduces the efficiency of ATP production in the context of understanding glycolysis and endergonic reactions. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 11 Jan 2019 doi:10.25334/Q46X5D - cite this


This activity maps to the OpenStax biology textbook, 7.2 Glycolysis.

Student Introduction:  Endergonic reactions require energy input in order to proceed (see GIBB'S FREE ENERGY). Almost every time a cell performs an endergonic reaction, such as linking amino acids, synthesizing small molecules, or cellular movement, it derives the needed energy from the splitting of ATP. Aerobic organisms produce most of their ATP through respiration, a complex set of reactions that transfer electrons from glucose to oxygen. Glycolysis is the first step in glucose metabolism. The success of glycolysis lies in its ability to couple energy-releasing reactions to the endergonic synthesis of ATP.

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