What is Respiration in Plants and Humans

Respiration is one of the systems in the human body. The respiratory system is also known as the respiratory system which has a vital role for humans. However, did Sinaumed’s know that the term respiration does not only occur in humans, but also occurs in plants.

The term respiration can also be interpreted as a process to produce energy by breaking down complex molecules which can then be simple molecules, so that they can be used by cells. So what is the difference in respiration that occurs by humans and plants? What’s the explanation? Check out this article to find out more about respiration.

Respiration is Taking Oxygen from Free Air

Respiration can be interpreted as the process of taking oxygen or O2 from free air when someone inhales. The inhaled oxygen will then pass through the airways or bronchi to the walls of the air sacs or alveoli.

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), respiration is the binding of oxygen by the blood droplets to provide materials for the whole body through the respiratory surface (lungs, gills) in animals while simultaneously releasing carbon dioxide.

After arriving at the alveoli, oxygen will be sent to the blood vessels in which there is a flow of red blood cells to be carried to cells in other organs of the body as energy and also as a metabolic process.

The rest of this metabolic process, especially carbon dioxide or CO2, will be carried by the blood to be thrown back into the air. Air removal will be carried out through the lungs when exhaling.

Respiration is also defined as gas exchange between an individual and the environment or the whole process of gas exchange between the atmosphere and blood and between blood and body cells.

The respiratory system is an organ system that has the function of taking oxygen from the atmosphere into the body’s cells with the aim of transferring the carbon dioxide produced by the body’s cells back into the atmosphere.

In addition, the respiratory organs also function for speech production and play a role in acid-base balance, fighting foreign bodies, body defense and hormonal regulation of blood pressure.

Anatomy of the Respiratory Tract

The respiratory system is divided into two channels, namely the upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory tract. The upper airway consists of the nasal cavities, larynx and pharynx. Meanwhile, the lower airways consist of the bronchi, trachea, and lungs. To be clearer, the following is an explanation of the anatomy of the respiratory tract.

1. Upper Respiratory Tract

The following is an explanation of the organs in the upper respiratory tract.

a. Nose over naso

The nose or naso is the first respiratory tract. When the breathing process occurs, the inspired air from the nasal cavity will undergo three processes, namely filtration, warming, and humidification.

The nose consists of several parts, including the outer wall which is made up of skin, the middle layer which is made up of muscles and cartilage, and the inner layer which is made up of multiple mucous membranes or nasal corals (konka nasalis). There are three nasal turbinates, namely the middle, inferior and superior nasal turbinates.

Between the nasal conchae, there are 3 meatal indentations, namely the superior meatus, inferior meatus and middle meatus. These three meatus are passed by breathing air. Then, on the inside there is a hole associated with the pharynx and is known as the choana.

The base of the nasal cavity, formed by the maxilla to the top of the nasal cavity is connected with the paranasal sinus cavity and maxillary sinus in the maxilla, the frontal sinus in the forehead bone, the sphenoidal sinus in the wedge bone cavity and the ethmoidal sinus in the sieve bone cavity.

In the ethmoidal sinus, the olfactory nerve endings will exit which lead to the nasal concha. In the nasal concha there are olfactory cells located at the top. In the nasal mucosa there are nerve fibers or receptors from the olfactory nerve or it is called the olfactory nerve.

The left and right conchae as well as the top of the palate have a vascular opening that connects the pharynx with the middle auditory cavity. This channel is also known as the auditory eustachian tube which connects the middle ear to the pharynx and larynx. The nose is also connected to the tear ducts or is called the lacrimal tube.

The nasal cavity is lined with a mucous membrane which contains blood vessels and is referred to as the nasal mucosa. Mucus will be secreted continuously by goblet cells that line the surface of the nasal mucosa and move backwards to the nasopharynx by the movement of the cilia.

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b. pharynx

The pharynx is a muscular tube that runs from the base of the skull to its junction with the esophagus at the level of the cricoid cartilage. The pharynx itself consists of several parts, namely the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx.

The nasopharynx is located immediately behind the nasal cavity, below the cranial base and in front of the first and second cervical vertebrae. The nasopharynx opens anteriorly into the nasal cavity and downwards into the oropharynx.

The oropharynx is where the oral cavity meets the pharynx. The oropharynx is a combination of the respiratory and digestive systems, food enters from the mouth and air enters from the nasopharynx and lungs.

The laryngopharynx is the part of the pharynx that is immediately behind the larynx and the upper end of the esophagus.

c. Larynx or throat

The larynx or throat is the airway that acts as a voice former. At the base it is closed by a throat cavity called the epiglottis which consists of cartilage which has a function when swallowing food by covering the larynx.

Located on the midline at the front of the neck, precisely under the skin of the thyroid gland and several small muscles that are in front of the laryngopharynx and the top of the esophagus.

The larynx has 4 cartilages or cartilages and consists of thyroid cartilage, epiglottis cartilage, cricoide cartilage, arytenoid cartilage.

The larynx is covered by a mucous membrane except for the vocal cords and the epiglottis which are covered by stratified epithelial cells.


2. Lower Airway

The following is an explanation of the organs in the lower respiratory tract.

a. Trachea or windpipe

The trachea, or windpipe, is a flexible tube about 10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The trachea runs from the cricoid cartilage down the front of the neck, then behind the manubrium sterni and ends at the level of the sternal angle or about the level of the fifth thoracic vertebra and here the trachea divides into two bronchi.

The trachea is composed of 16 to 20 incomplete rings which are cartilaginous rings held together by fibrous tissue and complete loops behind the trachea. Apart from that, the trachea also makes up some muscle tissue.

b. Bronchus

Bronchus is formed from halves of two trachea and has a similar structure to the trachea which is lined by the same type of cells. The bronchi run downward and sideways towards the lung flaps.

The right bronchus tends to be shorter and narrower and more vertical than the left, and is slightly higher than the pulmonary artery and gives off its main branches below the artery and is called the lower lobe bronchus.

c. Lungs

The lungs are an organ that consists mostly of small bubbles called alveoli. Alveoli is a place for gas exchange assinus which consists of bronchioles and respiratory which sometimes have small air sacs on their walls.

Respiratory System Physiology: Respiratory Process

Respiration is divided into two parts, namely the external respiration section, where the process of exchanging oxygen with carbon dioxide to and from the lungs into the oxygen enters the blood and CO2 + H20 enters the lungs towards the blood. Then excreted by the body.

The second part is internal respiration or cellular respiration where there is a process of exchanging O2 with CO2 events at the biochemical cell level for life processes.

Part of the Respiratory Process

The breathing process consists of two parts, as follows.

a. Pulmonary ventilation

Pulmonary ventilation is the entry and exit of airflow between the atmosphere and the alveoli of the lungs that occurs through a breathing process, namely inspiration and expiration.

Therefore, there will be diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide gases between the alveoli and the pulmonary capillaries as well as the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide through the blood to and from the tissue cells.

b. Breathing mechanic

Respiratory mechanics can be interpreted as the entry and exit of air from the atmosphere to the lungs which is made possible by mechanical respiratory events, namely inspiration and expiration.

Inspiration or inhalation is the entry of oxygen from the atmosphere and carbon dioxide into the airways. In abdominal breathing inspiration, the diaphragm muscle will experience contraction and the dome of the diaphragm drops or returns to a flat position.

Furthermore, the external intercostal muscle space will pull the chest wall slightly outward, so that the volume of the lungs will increase and the pressure in the lungs will decrease and be lower than the outside environment. That way, air from outside will enter into the lungs.

Expiration or exhalation is the release of carbon dioxide from the lungs into the atmosphere through the airways. If abdominal breathing occurs, the diaphragm muscle will rise back to its original position or bend.

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Then, the internal intercostal muscles relax. As a result, pressure occurs and the space inside the chest shrinks, so that the chest wall enters the air, then exits through the lungs. This is because the pressure in the lungs increases.

Respiration Process in Humans and Plants

Respiration according to biology is a mobilization process carried out by living things through the breakdown of High Energy Compounds (SET) and is used to carry out living functions.

The term respiration can be equated with breathing, but the term respiration includes processes that are not only covered by the term breathing. Respiration occurs at all levels of living organisms, from the individual to the smallest unit, namely the cell.

If breathing is usually associated with using oxygen as a breakdown compound, then respiration need not involve oxygen. In general, respiration is an oxidation process experienced by SET as a chemical energy storage unit in living organisms.

SET is like a sugar or fatty acid molecule and is usually broken down with the help of enzymes and some simple molecules. Because this process is an exothermic reaction or releases energy, then the released energy will be captured by ADP or NADP and form ATP or NADPH.

Then, an endothermic biochemical reaction takes place which requires energy to be supplied to meet its energy needs from the last two groups of compounds. Most of the respiration that can be witnessed by humans requires oxygen as an oxidizing agent. This reaction is known as aerobic respiration.

However, many respiration processes do not involve oxygen and are usually known as the process of making alcohol by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae . Various types of anaerobic bacteria use sulfur or compounds or some metals as oxidizing agents. Respiration is also carried out in unit cells. The process of respiration in eukaryotic organisms occurs in mitochondria, among others.

Respiration in Humans

Respiration in humans is a step in the process of taking in oxygen and removing the remains in the form of carbon dioxide and water vapor. Oxygen is needed by all body cells in biochemical reactions or biological oxidation to be able to produce energy in the form of Adenosine Tri Phosphate or ATP.

This reaction can produce residual substances in the form of carbon dioxide and water vapor which are then exhaled. So basically, the purpose of respiration is actually to form ATP which is needed for all activities in human life.

Based on the place, the exchange of oxygen gas with carbon dioxide can be divided into two, including external breathing or also known as external respiration, namely the exchange of oxygen in the alveoli with carbon dioxide in the blood.

Then the second is deep breathing or internal respiration, namely the exchange of oxygen gas with carbon dioxide from the bloodstream with body cells.

Respiration is related to the regulation of breathing and humans have two separate neural mechanisms that regulate breathing. One system is responsible for regulating voluntary breathing while the other system is responsible for controlling automatic breathing.

Control by the central nervous rhytminitis in the medulla oblongata directly regulates the respiratory muscles. Medullary activity is influenced by the apneustic center as well as pneumotax. A person’s awareness to breathe is controlled by the cerebral cortex.

The respiratory center is in the Medullary Rhythmicity Area, namely the area of ​​inspiration and expiration that regulates the basic rhythm of respiration, the pneumotaxic area which is located at the top of the pons and functions to help coordinate the transition between inspiration and expiration, sending inhibitory impulses to the inspiratory area of ​​the expanding lungs and apneustic The area whose function is to help coordinate the transition between inspiration and expiration and to transmit exhibition impulses to the area of ​​inspiration.

Respiratory control chemically, influenced by PaO2, pH and PaCO2. The chemoreceptor center, medulla, responds to chemical changes in the CSF due to chemical changes in the blood.

Respiration in plants

As has been explained that respiration occurs in every living thing and does not occur only in humans, but also in plants. Respiration reaction is a catabolic reaction capable of breaking down sugar molecules into inorganic molecules in the form of CO2 and H2O.

Respiration is a process of taking in oxygen to break down organic compounds into carbon dioxide and H2O and energy. However, respiration is essentially a redox reaction, in which a substrate is oxidized to carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, oxygen absorbed as an oxidizing agent will experience reduction to H2O.

Respiration in plants can also be interpreted as a process of releasing energy stored in energy source substances through chemical processes using oxygen. From respiration, it will produce chemical energy in the form of ATP for life activities such as anabolism or synthesis, movement and growth.

That is the explanation of respiration is a respiration process carried out by living things through the breakdown of high-energy compounds or SET used by living things to carry out their life functions.