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Question Video: Applying Knowledge of Respiration and Photosynthesis to an Experiment Biology

Assuming the plant is alive and healthy, which of the following conclusions about the experimental setup shown below is correct? [A] The plant will be respiring but not photosynthesizing. [B] The plant will be photosynthesizing but not respiring. [C] The plant will not be respiring or photosynthesizing. [D] The plant will be photosynthesizing and respiring.

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Video Transcript

Assuming the plant is alive and healthy, which of the following conclusions about the experimental setup shown below is correct? (A) The plant will be respiring but not photosynthesizing. (B) The plant will be photosynthesizing but not respiring. (C) The plant will not be respiring or photosynthesizing. Or (D) the plant will be photosynthesizing and respiring.

Let’s remove the multiple-choice options for now and remind ourselves about respiration and photosynthesis. You may recall that plant cells carry out two very important chemical reactions. The first is respiration, and the second is photosynthesis. Aerobic respiration is the process whereby glucose is broken down in the presence of oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water and to release energy in the form of ATP. This is how plants get all the energy they need to survive. Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen using light energy.

Because photosynthesis relies on light energy, it can only happen when the Sun is out or in the presence of some other light source. Respiration, on the other hand, happens constantly with or without a light source. Now, let’s consider the experimental setup shown in the diagram.

We’re told that the potted plant is alive and healthy; therefore, we know that it will be respiring. We can also see that the plant is receiving light energy from this lamp, which means it will also be photosynthesizing. We have therefore concluded that with this experimental setup, the correct answer is (D); the plant will be photosynthesizing and respiring.

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