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How does glycolysis function in anaerobic respiration?

Glycolysis functions in anaerobic respiration by breaking down glucose to produce ATP without oxygen.

During anaerobic respiration, the electron transport chain cannot function due to the absence of oxygen. As a result, glycolysis is the only pathway available to produce ATP. Glycolysis occurs in the cytoplasm of the cell and involves the breakdown of glucose into two molecules of pyruvate. This process also produces a net gain of two ATP molecules and two NADH molecules.

In anaerobic respiration, the pyruvate molecules produced by glycolysis are converted into either lactic acid or ethanol and carbon dioxide. In lactic acid fermentation, pyruvate is reduced to lactate by NADH, regenerating NAD+ for use in glycolysis. In alcoholic fermentation, pyruvate is converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide, releasing NAD+ for use in glycolysis.

Overall, glycolysis is essential for anaerobic respiration as it provides the necessary ATP for cellular processes. While it is not as efficient as aerobic respiration, it allows cells to survive in low oxygen environments. Understanding the role of glycolysis in anaerobic respiration is important in fields such as microbiology and biotechnology.

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