According to Hartnell College, cellular respiration takes place in the cytoplasm of cells and inside the mitochondria. Mitochondria are often called the cell’s “power plant,” because most of the process of cellular respiration takes place inside them. This process produces energy within the cell.
Cellular respiration is the method by which cells generate energy. Hartnell College explains that the cells break down glucose molecules in order to produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is the body’s energy currency, and it is necessary to power all of an organism’s basic functions.
There are three different parts of cellular respiration. Some of the steps require oxygen, while others do not. The first part of the process, called glycolysis, takes place in the cytoplasm of the cells. Glycolysis does not require oxygen, and only produces two molecules of ATP.
The next two steps in the process of cellular respiration include the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain. These steps occur solely in the mitochondria, according to Hartnell College. Additionally, each of these steps requires oxygen to complete its chemical reaction. The citric acid cycle only produces two molecules of ATP, but it also produces several precursors for the electron transport chain. Upon completing the electron transport chain, 32 ATP molecules are generated.
Cell respiration occurs in two different ways: aerobic respiration, which is respiration with oxygen, and anaerobic respiration, or respiration without oxygen via an electron transport chain.
Prokayrotic cells, such as bacteria experience cell respiration within the cytoplasm, which is the thick fluid inside the cell membrane, or directly through the surface of the cell. Eukaryotic cells are found in four general biologies: Protista, Fungi, Plants, and Animals.
Eukaryotic cells include a nucleus that is separate from the cytoplasm and typically respirate through the mitochondria.