Calvin Cycle The Calvin cycle is a series of biochemical reactions that takes place in the stroma of chloroplasts in photosynthetic organisms. It is one of the light-independent reactions or dark reactions. During photosynthesis, light energy is used to generate chemical free energy, stored in glucose. The light-independent Calvin cycle, also (misleadingly) known as the "dark reaction" or "dark stage", uses the energy from short-lived electronically-excited carriers to convert carbon dioxide and water into organic compounds that can be used by the organism (and by animals which feed on it). This set of reactions is also called carbon fixation. The key enzyme of the cycle is called RuBisCO. In the following equations, the chemical species (phosphates and carboxylic acids) exist in equilibria among their various ionized states as governed by the pH.
The enzymes in the Calvin cycle are functionally equivalent to many enzymes used in other metabolic pathways such as gluconeogenesis and the pentose phosphate pathway, but they are to be found in the chloroplast stroma instead of the cell cytoplasm, separating the reactions. They are activated in the light (which is why the name "dark reaction" is misleading), and also by products of the light-dependent reaction. These regulatory functions prevent the Calvin cycle from operating in reverse to respiration, which would create a continuous cycle of carbon dioxide being reduced to carbohydrates, and carbohydrates being respired to carbon dioxide. Energy (in the form of ATP) would be wasted in carrying out these reactions that have no net productivity.
Cellular Respiration Cellular respiration describes the metabolic reactions and processes that take place in a cell or across the cell membrane to get biochemical energy from fuel molecules and the release of the cells' waste products. Energy can be released by the oxidation of fuel molecules and is stored as "high-energy" carriers. The reactions involved in respiration are catabolic reactions in metabolism.
Fuel molecules commonly used by cells in respiration include glucose, amino acids and fatty acids, and a common oxidizing agent (electron acceptor) is molecular oxygen (O2). There are organisms, however, that can respire using other organic molecules as electron acceptors instead of oxygen. Organisms that use oxygen as a final electron acceptor in respiration are described as aerobic, while those that do not are referred to as anaerobic.
The energy released in respiration is used to synthesize molecules that act as a chemical storage of this energy. One of the most widely used compounds in a cell is adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its stored chemical energy can be used for many processes requiring energy, including biosynthesis, locomotion or transportation of molecules across cell membranes. Because of its ubiquitous nature, ATP is also known as the "universal energy currency", since the amount of it in a cell indicates how much energy is available for energy-consuming processes.