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The Role of ATP

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The Role of ATP Living organisms all need energy to live, for reproduction and for movement. This energy is used in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is known as the 'energy currency of living organisms' and can be produced by two methods: 1. Photosynthesis 2. Chemical Energy Photosynthesis is the absorption of light energy from the sun, which is then transferred into chemical energy. It occurs in plants and results in a useful supply of carbon. Chemical energy is acquired from a 'ready made' source of carbon such as biological materials found in plants and animals, although this energy still originally comes from the sun. ...read more.


The same happens when phosphate 2 is removed. With the removal of the third however, only 13.8 kJ mol-1 is released. These reactions are reversible. ATP is an intermediate molecule between glucose and the cell. The energy transfers that take place are not always efficient, as some is lost as heat/thermal energy. Sometimes, the amount of energy available is not enough to produce ATP. The process of producing ATP is called Phosphorylation. The two main forms of Phosphorylation are: * Photophosphorylation * Oxidative Phosphorylation Photophosphorylation takes place during photosynthesis within the thylakoids of the chloroplasts. This can only happen within plants. Oxidative Phosphorylation takes place on the membranes of the mitochondria during aerobic respiration. ...read more.


A small amount of energy produced during respiration or photosynthesis is used to pump H+ ions into the intermembrane space. This creates a hydrogen ion concentration gradient on either side of the membrane, which is impermeable to H+. They move down the gradient through a protein complex containing ATP synthetase. When a 3 H+ ions have moved through, enough energy is supplied to synthesize one molecule of ATP from ADP and a phosphate. Peter Mitchell discovered this in 1961 and it is known as Chemiosmosis. ATP Synthetase Has 3 catalytic binding sites: * Binding ADP and the phosphate * Binding the ATP tighter * Releasing ATP Part of this molecule rotates as H+ ions pass which allows structural changes to the active sites that allow them to take on the three stages of ATP production. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chris Baynes Biology 09/09/09 ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is good example of how to set out this type of essay and the language used is good. However the candidate doesn’t fully refer to the given statement and lacks basic detail. For the most part the candidate answers ...

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Response to the question

This is good example of how to set out this type of essay and the language used is good. However the candidate doesn’t fully refer to the given statement and lacks basic detail. For the most part the candidate answers the statement adequately, though they do not provide the basic reasons ATP is needed which is essential when discussing the role of ATP. However the essay is well laid out, the information is very clear and it is easy to follow. I would also have though it important to show the equation for the formation of ATP which is missing from this essay. ATP + H20 -----> ADP + Pi + energy.

Level of analysis

The candidate gives a reasonable level of analysis with good descriptions of structure and synthesis. There is suitable level of depth in their descriptions and s/he shows evidence of independent study as they go into a high level of detail about the quantity of energy provided by ATP. However the candidate fails to list the reasons of why we need ATP and the detail of what ATP is use for, it is needed for; movement, metabolism, active transport, maintenance, repair and division, production of substances and the maintenance of body temperature. For example It is used for metabolic processes, ATP provides energy to build up macromolecules from their basic units use as polypeptides from amino acids. There is also a lack of detail when describing the synthesis of ATP, for example it should be stated that photophosphorylation is the addition of a inorganic phosphate molecule using light energy, the term photo meaning from light. The candidate does mention that ATP is only an immediate source but doesn’t not mention that the reason it is not used as an energy store is because it is relatively unstable, fortunately though it can be manufactured rapidly and does not need to be stored. In addition ATP releases less energy than glucose therefore the energy released is in a more manageable quantity.

Quality of writing

The essay is fluent and flows well, the candidate uses a good descriptive language and there is no issue with spelling or grammar.

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Reviewed by PicturePerfect 25/02/2012

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