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6.27:Aerobic Glucose Metabolism Totals

The table below shows the ATP generated from one molecule of glucose in the different metabolic pathways.

Table. 6.271 ATP generated from one molecule of glucose.

Metabolic Pathway

ATP Generated

Glycolysis 2
Citric Acid Cycle 2
Electron Transport Chain 28
Total ` 32

Notice that the vast majority of ATP is generated by the electron transport chain. If we do the math, 28/32 X 100 = 87.5% of the ATP from a molecule of glucose is generated by the electron transport chain. Remember that this is aerobic and requires oxygen to be the final electron acceptor. If 3 ATP/NADH and 2 ATP/FADH2 are used instead of 2.5 ATP/NADH and 1.5 ATP/FADH2 that were used above, total ATP and percentage of ATP produced by the electron transport chain would be different. But the takeaway message remains the same. The electron transport chain by far produces the most ATP from one molecule of glucose.

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