The Difference Between Chemosynthesis and Photosynthesis

What is the difference between chemosynthesis and photosynthesis? Both processes are vital to their ecosystems. Without these processes, the ecosystems of our planet could never be as advanced as they are today. What are their differences?

Chemosynthesis is the process that specially adapted organisms use to create inorganic chemical energy into food for them. This process is very important; the deep see biosphere depends on the chemosynthetic organisms. Organisms that undergo the process use different pathways to get the sugar, CH20. One ecosystem that uses chemosynthesis is around under-water hot springs. The organisms that use the hydrothermal vents are bacteria that thrive near the openings. They first oxidize hydrogen sulfide, and then they add carbon dioxide and oxygen. What comes out is a sugar known as formaldehyde, sulfur, and water. The one of the chemical equations for chemosynthesis is CO2 + 4H2S + O2 -> CH20 + 4S + 3H2O. The reaction first uses energy to fix carbon into a carbohydrate. Microbes absorb the compounds and function as electron donors. Then they oxidize them, which begins an electron flow that eventually produces ATP. The energy is used to combine carbon with other molecules to create carbohydrates, usually that turn into sugar. Then the sugars are sent to the mitochondrion, which undergoes cellular respiration. The cellular respiration process breaks down the sugars and turns them into ATP.

Photosynthesis is a similar process to chemosynthesis. It is mainly used in plants, but there are photosynthetic organisms, such as Cyanobacteria. These bacteria live near and can be found in almost every community that has at least some water. Plants that use photosynthesis take in carbon-dioxide (CO₂) and some water (H₂O) from little pores underneath the leaves. These pores are called stomata. Once the chemicals are inside the plant, they travel into the cells of the plant. Inside the cells, little organelles called the chloroplasts take in the chemicals. Then, what is known as the light reactions begins. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in all plants, and it attracts light and takes the energy out of it. Then, the electrons go through an electron transport chain that eventually creates ATP with ATP syntheses. Next comes the Calvin cycle. The Calvin cycle was discovered by Mendel Calvin and other chemists. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the Calvin- Benson-Bassham cycle. It takes the carbon-dioxide that the stomata got from the atmosphere and turns it into a molecule known as G3P. This molecule is used to build carbohydrates, such as glucose. G3P helps build the plant’s body as well as the food for the plant. From there the cell sends the sugars to the mitochondrion, which undergoes cellular resperation.The chemical equation is 6CO2 + 6H2O -> C6H12O6 + 6O2.

Both of these processes are the life-line for most of their respective ecosystems. If you look at any food chain, the organisms that go through these processes are at the near bottom, second to last to their respective energy sources. They both are also in a group known as autotrophs, which describes an organism that makes it own food. Contrasting, though, chemosynthesis makes water while photosynthesis uses water. The energy source is different, too; chemosynthesis uses thermal energy while photosynthesis uses light photons. Either way, both chemosynthesis and photosynthesis are vital to every ecosystem that they inhabit and without them, life as we know it would never survive.


This entry was written by Chris W. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Difference Between Chemosynthesis and Photosynthesis

  1. hailey says:

    That is quite true when I read this I saw that it amazed me and I will leave a comment to those who don’t understand, So the those who don’t understand its saying that chemosynthesis is different from photosynthesis because chemo uses chemicals and photo uses light to feed animals so if you still don’t get It email me and I will try to make it so u can understand better! 🙂 😀

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