Are lysosomes, an organelle, part of plant photosynthesis or cellular respiration?  

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Lysosomes are associated with neither photosynthesis nor cellular respiration.  Lysosomes serve functionally as the "sanitation department", dispensing digestive enzymes to dissolve waste products, worn out cell parts, or ingested bacteria or viruses.  They are sometimes called "suicide sacs", because they contain enough material to be harmful to the cell itself were they to rupture and spill their contents unchecked into the cell.  Photosynthesis is the process green plants use to manufacture energy for their cells.  The organelle responsible for that process is the chloroplast.  Cellular respiration is the process animal cells, and to some extent, plant cells, use to manufacture energy for their cells.  The organelle responsible for that process is the mitochondria.  Lysosomes have nothing to do with energy production for either plant or animal cells.  Instead, they are responsible for sanitation and cleanup.

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