Photosynthesis

be developed. Cells reorganized components from the photosynthetic machinery to release energy by oxidizing food molecules with oxygen (Fig. 20.08B). Photosynthesis emits oxygen and consumes carbon dioxide, whereas respiration does the reverse. The overall result is an ecosystem where plants and animals complement each other biochemically.

An alternative theory suggests that energy released by the reaction of sulfur compounds powered the earliest life forms.

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