What is the difference between the Krebs cycle that takes place in animals and the Krebs cycle that takes place in plants?


Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The short answer to your question is that there is no difference, and here's why:

The Krebs Cycle is the second set of reactions in cellular respiration (in between glycolysis and chemiosmosis). The Krebs Cycle occurs in the mitochondria and produces a small amount of ATP (the main energy-containing molecule directly usable by cells), but mainly it creates the NADH and FADH2 that are needed for oxidative phosphorylation and chemiosmosis where large amounts of ATP are produced. An often misunderstood fact is that both plants and animals have mitochondria that produce ATP using cellular respiration. 

Plants, though, also create ATP (along with NADPH) during the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis, which occurs in the chloroplasts of the cell. This ATP and NADPH go on to help power the reactions of the Calvin cycle, which produces glucose (and other products the plant can use). Plants use this ATP and also the ATP produced from cellular respiration in the mitochondria. In this way, plants have two ways of getting ATP while animals only have cellular respiration.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial