What and What are the Cellular Processes?

The cellular processes are all the mechanisms that are carried out within the cell and are aimed at guaranteeing the stability of the organism that they comprise.

An example of a cellular process is photosynthesis . This is carried out in autotrophic organisms (plants, red and brown algae and some bacteria).

What and What are the Cellular Processes?

Photosynthesis is a reaction that occurs in chloroplasts (an organelle present in plant cells).

Thanks to this process carbohydrates are created, specifically glucose, which is necessary for autotrophic organisms to grow.

Also, during photosynthesis, oxygen is released into the atmosphere, an element that is used by others to perform breathing.

Other cellular processes are metabolism, anabolism, catabolism, protein synthesis, nutrition, respiration (both anaerobic and aerobic), mitosis and meiosis.

Main cellular processes

1- Metabolism

Metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that occur within the body. These reactions are intended to synthesize or degrade substances. In other words, metabolic reactions create or destroy.

Metabolism begins at the cellular level, since it is here that the first reactions that support the life of an organism are triggered. Metabolic reactions can be of two types: anabolic and catabolic.


Anabolism is the phase of metabolism in which substances are synthesized or created. It is also known as biosynthesis.

Anabolic reactions allow complex substances to be obtained from simpler compounds. In order to be able to carry out this synthesis, during these reactions energy is consumed, reason why they are called endergónicas.

Thanks to anabolism, organic matter is produced in the form of tissues that supports the growth of organisms. In autotrophic organisms, glucose is created, which is the food of these individuals.

Furthermore, both autotrophs and heterotrophs molecules that store energy are created. For example, plants produce starch, while animals produce glycogen.

Photosynthesis, protein synthesis, transcription and translation are some anabolic cellular processes.


Catabolism is the second metabolic reaction. These reactions are degradation. This means that molecules are destroyed. This is done for the purpose of releasing energy. For this reason, catabolic reactions are exergonic.

The molecules with the most energy are those of glucose. This is why the body often resorts to the degradation of this hydrate to generate energy that allows the body to function properly.

2- Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis (or synthesis from light) is a cellular process that occurs in plants, algae and some bacteria. This process consists of two phases: one luminous and one dark.

In the luminous phase, sunlight, chlorophyll (a green pigment present in plant cells) and water molecules intervene. What happens is that the light energy is captured by chlorophyll and is transformed into chemical energy.

In chlorophyll, there is a process called excitation, which causes this pigment to lose an electron. To recover the lost electron, chlorophyll breaks a molecule of water, takes the necessary element and the rest is released.

In the dark phase, molecules of carbon dioxide (CO2), water molecules and the chemical energy that is stored in the luminous phase are involved.

At this stage, the hydrogen from the water is bound to the carbon dioxide thanks to the chemical energy. The result of this reaction is a carbohydrate called glucose.

3- Protein Synthesis

This is the process through which proteins are created within the cell. It is a cycle involving deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA) and proteins.

RNA synthesizes the RNA and the latter synthesizes a number of proteins. These proteins will be the triggers of DNA synthesis and so begins the cycle again.

4- Cellular respiration

Cellular respiration is a process that involves the oxidation of some molecules to produce energy. This can be of two types: aerobic and anaerobic.

Aerobic respiration is what occurs in the higher organisms (plants, animals and fungi). In this, carbon molecules are oxidized by oxygen from the air.

In autotrophic organisms, respiration is made from the oxidation of glucose produced during photosynthesis.

On the other hand, the heterotrophic organisms perform the cellular respiration thanks to the glucose that they obtained when consuming foods.

For its part, anaerobic respiration is an oxidation-reduction process in which the oxidant is not oxygen.

This type of breathing is what occurs in the most primitive organisms, especially in bacteria. It may occur in the tissues of other organisms when oxygen is not available.

5- Nutrition

Nutrition is the process through which the cell"ingests"organic matter. This material allows the cell to regenerate, grow and have the necessary raw material for the other chemical reactions that must be carried out in it.

6- Mitosis

Mitosis is a process that consists of the duplication of the nucleus of the cell. It consists of four phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.

During prophase, the filaments of genetic material are organized to form the chromosomes.

In metaphase, certain structures of the cell disappear (the nucleoli and the cell membrane). The centriole (another cellular organelle) divides into two and each of the parts moves to one end of the nucleus.

In anaphase, the chromosomes are divided in half and each half moves to one end.

Finally, in the telophase a membrane is formed around each end, creating two nuclei that contain the same genetic information.

7- Meiosis

The meiosis is another process of cell division in which haploid cells are formed, that is, half the genetic load of the stem cell. This process takes place in organisms with sexual reproduction.


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