Emp pathway steps and process for the ease of remember

The EMP pathway is also known as Glycolysis. Glycolysis is derived from the Greek word glycose.

The full form of EMP is based on the scientists’ names such as  Embden, Meyerhof, Parnas.

The simple and most common meaning of Glycolysis is sugar splitting, Eg ( Glycose = Sugar and Lysis = Splitting).

As everything needs fuel even non living things like automobiles also need fuel for the function just like that our body also needs fuel for the sleep wake cycle.

The meals that are consumed by us are our fuel and most of the meals consist of complex carbohydrates and proteins.

From the first bite the function of breakdown of foods starts from our mouth with the help of enzymes.

These enzymes help the food items into the digestion and digestion leads to the breakdown of complex materials into simpler ones.

This process further leads to the conversion of simple molecules into chemicals that are required for the energy making.

Emp pathway is one of the chemical reactions that products such as ATP, NADH and Pyruvate are crucial for our body.

This emp pathway occurs in cytoplasm of the cell and cytoplasm is present in most of the living organism.

Photosynthesis diagram image
Photosynthesis diagram

In this process glucose undergoes partial oxidation and gives two molecules of pyruvic acid.

In plants this glucose is derived from sucrose, which is the final product of photosynthesis or it is also derived from stored carbohydrate.

Water, Carbon Dioxide and light energy combine to form glucose and liberate oxygen and it is called photosynthesis.

After photosynthesis plants have to breakdown the glucose for the cellular process.

The breakdown of glucose is the opposite of photosynthesis.

Glucose reacts with oxygen to give Carbon dioxide, water and energy and this is known as respiration.

respiration diagram image
respiration diagram

There are three steps involved in plant respiration

  1. Glycolysis ( EMP Pathway )
  2. Krebs cycle
  3. Electron transport chain

We will discuss the emp pathway only in this blog post.

Emp pathway ( Glycolysis )

Emp pathway is the first process of cellular respiration.

In this process the glucose molecule splits into two pyruvate molecules and this process occurs into cytosol.

Glycolysis does not produce much energy in the form of ATP and it does not require oxygen to occur however this is the only step without this requirement.

Newly formed molecules in glycolysis are further used in various reactions according to the demand of the cell environment.

Emp pathway consists of ten steps and after the completion of the steps we have

  1. Two ATP molecules
  2. Two pyruvate molecules
  3. Two NADH molecules

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is crucially essential for the biochemical.

ATP is also well known for the energy currency of the cell.

Glycolysis actually produces four molecules of ATP but during the emp pathway two ATP molecules are consumed.

As we all know ATP molecules can also be stored and this is stored in cytoplasm and nucleoplasm of the cell.

As it is  called energy currency this provides the energy for the function of the cell.

This molecule consists of three phosphate groups that are bounded with negatively charged oxygen atoms.

Due to the numerous presence of negative charge this molecule is so unstable.

Breaking of one phosphate bond provides a significant amount of energy and by the loss of one phosphate group form adenosine diphosphate (ADP).


Two Pyruvate molecules are produced at the end of the emp pathway (glycolysis) that is used for the aerobic (need oxygen) and anaerobic (no need of oxygen).

Aerobic respiration needs oxygen for the reaction while anaerobic respiration does not need oxygen.

Under aerobic conditions pyruvate is oxidised to form Acetyl coenzyme A and Coenzyme begins a chemical reaction called the Krebs cycle which is one of the most important parts of respiration.

When there is no oxygen, the emp pathway produces more ATP and NADP. The pyruvate is reduced to form NADP.

After that further reaction creates NAD+ which is used in another reaction of glycolysis.

NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H)

In the emp pathway two NADH molecules produce and this molecule functions in mitochondria.

In aerobic conditions an electron transport chain is created after the Krebs cycle.

These are the electron carriers that are used in the last phase of cellular respiration and this is known as oxidative phosphorylation.

In this process protons are removed and transported outside of the mitochondria.

Due to the proton transfer strong charge gradient and enough electrochemical potential created for the huge ATP production.

However, In anaerobic conditions NADH is reused in upcoming steps of glycolysis.

Emp pathway ppt

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