6 Feb 2012

Anaerobic Respiration

Goal: To reduce pyruvate, thus generating NAD+
Where: The cytoplasm
Why: In the absence of oxygen, it is the only way to generate NAD+

Alcohol Fermentation - occurs in yeasts in many bacteria
The product of fermentation, alcohol, is toxic to the organism

Lactic Acid Fermentation - occurs in humans and other mammals
The product of Lactic Acid fermentation, lactic acid, is toxic to mammals
This is the "burn" felt when undergoing strenuous activity

The only goal of fermentation reactions is to convert NADH to NAD+ (to use in glycolysis).
No energy is gained
Note differences - anaerobic respiration - 2 ATP's produced (from glycolysis), aerobic respiration - 36 ATP's produced (from glycolysis, Krebs cycle, and Oxidative Phosphorylation)
Thus, the evolution of an oxygen-rich atmosphere, which facilitated the evolution of aerobic respiration, was crucial in the diversification of life.

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