Cellularrespiration is a vital and complex process that occurs in every livingorganism. It is simply the oxidative breakdown of complex organic moleculessuch as glucose and starch into energy in the form of ATP (adenosinetriphosphate) along with carbon dioxide and water (Postharvest physiology textbook).
Energy that is formed throughthe process of cellular respiration aids in an organism’s metabolism, growthand development of cells and tissues (Whyresp?). With the diverse range of animal and plant species, the process ofcellular respiration remains conservative as all organisms predominantly useglucose and similar components to produce large amounts of energy (Why resp?). Tounderstand how energy is acquired to maintain biological processes within anorganism, it is important to measure the metabolic rate. The metabolic rate is rateof respiration through the consumption of oxygen and release of carbon dioxideover the mass (e.
g. grams) of an organism (Textbook).The determination of an organism’s energy consumption is based upon therespiratory quotient (R.Q.). The respiratory quotient is the ratio of CO2produced to the amount of O2 consumed (Varients). The respiratory quotient indicates the oxidation of themixture of carbohydrates, fats and proteins involved in the metabolic substrateused in tissues.Therespiration quotient values for each substrate i.
e. carbohydrates, lipids andproteins can be found through its appropriate chemical equation (Biology: approach). In the case ofcarbohydrates, a typical sugar such as glucose has an R.Q. value of 1.0 (Essential A2).
Lipids have an R.Q.value as low as 0.7 as it has less oxygen relative to the amount of carbon,therefore for complete oxidation of lipids more oxygen is consumed (Essential A2).
As for proteins, eachamino acid has unique properties that determine its structure hence the R.Q.values will range from 0.9 to values as high as 1.2 (Essential A2). In this paper, the experimental animal beingstudied is an insect in its larvae form known as the yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor.
The diet of these wildmealworms mainly consists of wheat storage protein gliadins however, they eat avariety of foods ranging from fungus, seeds and vegetables (Dipeptidyl).Past researchconducted at the Guy’s Hospital Medical School in London, England on rats isindicative of the effect of diet on metabolic rate and respiratory quotient.The adult male rats were given three different feeding treatments that consistedof different carbohydrates. This treatment contained sucrose, glucose andfructose. The duration of the metabolic rate was measured for 150-180 minutes(Different Effects). The researchers concluded that there was an increase inthe metabolic rate and respiratory quotient after the feeding of thecarbohydrates. Sucrose being the greatest, then glucose and lastly fructose(Different Effects).
Thepurpose of this lab experiment is to examine how various diet influences themetabolic rate in mealworms, Tenebriomolitor and to determine whether the different diets result in distinctR.Q. values.