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Electron Transport Systems (Aerobic Respiration vs. Light Rxns of Photosynthesis)

Compare and contrast the electron transport systems (ETS) utilized in aerobic respiration and the light reactions of photosynthesis. Include a discussion of the inputs and outputs of each ETS and also give examples of specific electron carriers

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Both electron transport systems are based on the same basic set of principles: electrons flow through a series of electron carriers coupled together by a chain of redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions. Ultimately, as the electrons are carried from carrier to carrier, protons are pumped across the membrane up their chemical and electrical (electrochemical) gradient. In this sense, the large amount of free energy released step by step in the series of redox reactions is used to create an electrical-chemical gradient across the membrane. Ultimately, the electrons are received by a final electron acceptor.

Oxidative Phosphorylation in the Mitochondrion

In this process, electrons enter the system through either one of the reduced cofactors, NADH or FADH2. The basic carriers are (in order): NADH, ubiquinone, cytochrome b, cytochrome c1, ...