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Photosynthesis & Chloroplasts

6CO + 6HO

CHO + 6O

Heterotroph Organism which feeds on other organisms

which can photosynthesize .The products of photo synthesis are
used as fuels or to make other molecules eg amino acids .
Autotroph makes organic compounds using CO2 . This
process is called photosynthesis where light energy is
converted into chemical energy.
Sun - ultimate energy source

Energy is released when ATP is broken down into ADP + P .
Energy does not come from respiration . Energy is stored in the
form of starch and glycogen not ATP.
ATP- Adenosine Triphosphate (3 phosphate groups)
It is made of
1. 3 phosphate groups
2. adenine
3. ribose

- ATP is found in all living organisms so it is called a Universal

energy source.
When we need energy, the third bond is broken by a hydrolysis
reaction using ATPase enzyme.

ADP + Pi + energy

ATP is then resynthesized . BUT this requires energy


Where does the energy to make ATP come from ?

There are two main ways
1)- energy released from catabolic reactions eg respiration
2-Removal of Hydrogen atoms from intermediates in a
metabolic pathway .eg the electron transport chain
The Electron Transport Chain

ATP is made in the

electron transport chain.
As electrons move along
the chain, they lose
energy .This energy is
used to synthesize ATP
from ADP & Phosphate.
Hydrogen molecules
removed from
compounds are picked up
by other compounds and
become reduced. OILRIG (oxidation is loss, reduction is gain)

ATP is useful in many biological processes.

1. ATP Releases energy in small amounts when the last phosphate group
breaks down
2. It is an immediate source as it involves a single step where one bond is
3. It is an Immediate energy compound as energy is available rapidly;
4. It is broken down and Reformed
5 it is insoluble so it does not leave the cell

Explain why humans make more than their body mass of ATP each
1. ATP is unstable;
2. ATP cannot be stored
3-ATP only releases a small amount of energy at a time;

Chloroplast structure

Starch Grain -Organelle which contains starch product of

Lamellae -Extension of the Thylakoids (contain PSI)
Thylakoids-Organelle which contains chlorophyll (and PSI
They are stacked on top of each other to form a Grana.
They Increase the surface area for light capture and allows
capture of photons with a wider range of wavelengths.
The Light Dependant Reactions occur in the Thylakoid

Grana (granum) Stack of Thylakoid discs

Stroma . Contains ribosomes and genetic materials so
proteins required for photosynthesis can be synthesised.
Also contains starch grains and lipid droplets
Ribosomes- Organelle for synthesis of Polypeptides
Outer Membrane- (double membrane)
Permeable to most ions and metabolites

Inner Membrane
(double membrane)
Highly specialised with transport proteins

Chloroplasts contain chlorphyll which a group of five closely

related pigments
There are 5 pigments:
- 1-Chlorophyll a- most abundant type of chlorophyll which
is found in most plants. It absorbs blue green more
- 2-Chlorophyll b-- absorbs green yellow light
- 3-Carotene - absorbs orange
3 and 4 are
- 4- Xanthophyll- absorbs yellow
- 5-Phaeophytin absorbs grey Carotenoids

Not all parts of the plant have chloroplasts as they do not do

not need to carry out photosynthesis .
The benefit of having different types of chlorophyll is that it
More efficient as each of the pigments absorbs and
captures light from particular areas, so more energy from the
light can be used and photosynthesis is maximised.
Plant leaves appear green as all colours apart from green
are absorbed so green is reflected back as chlorophyll a is
most abundant.

Pigment molecules are arranged in photosystems on the

membrane inside the chloroplast.
There are two main photosystems
1-Photosystem 1 these are a group of the pigments which
absorb light at 700nm- they are found the intergranal
2- Photosystem 11 -these are a group of the pigments which
absorb light at 680 nm- they are found on the membranes of
the grana





Photosystem I Lamellae
Photosystem II Granum
Light dependent reactions Thylakoid
Light independent reactions Stroma
Photosynthesis has two stages :

The light dependent stage which occurs in the thylakoid

membrane. And the Light independent reactions which
occurs in the stroma .


The Products of Light Dependent Reactions are :
1-ATP (energy),
2- Oxygen &
3-Reduced NADP
It takes place on the thylakoid membranes of the chloroplasts.
It has 2 main functions:
1. To produce ATP, (for the calvein cycle) supplying energy
for the synthesis of carbohydrates
2. Split water molecules by photolysis to provide hydrogen
ions to reduce NADP . NADPH will then reduce CO 2 to
carbohydrates . ( or more correctly - glycerate
phosphate to GALP )
When a photon of light hits a chlorophyll
molecule it becomes oxidized..The
electrons can be picked up by an
electron acceptor (carrier molecule).
When the electron falls to a lower energy
level energy is released.
This energy results in synthesis of ATP
by one of two processes
1- Cyclic &
2- Non-Cyclic photophosphorylation.

Cyclic photo-phosphorylation involves only photosystem I
produces only of ATP. There is no NADP


When light hits a chlorophyll molecule, a light excited electron

leaves the molecule. It is taken up by an electron acceptor and
passed directly along the electron transport chain . As the
electron de-excites energy is released to produce ATP.
When an electron returns to the chlorophyll molecule in PSI,it is
then reduced again. The cyle is repeated. IT can then be
rexcited in the same Way.


Non cyclic photophosphorylation involves both photosystem I

& photosystem II. NADPH and ATP and O2 is produced
--Light splits water molecules into Hydrogen (H+) ions
electrons and oxygen.


4H+ + 4e

+ O2

--Light is also

absorbed by a Chlorophyll molecule in PS11.

The chlorophyll molecule is excited . The electron is picked up
by an electron acceptor. The electron passes through the
electron transport chain until it reaches PS1.
During this process a series of redox reaction occur. This
releases energy when electrons de-excite. ATP is formed in the
The chlorophyll molecule is now oxidized. It is short of an
electron. AN electron from the photolysis of the H2O

molecules reduces the chlorophyll again

--Light also hits PS1
An excited electron from PSI is picked up by an electron
acceptor (NADP). The NADP also takes up a hydrogen ion
from the dissociated water at the same time. H ions pass
through ATP synthase enzyme . More ATP is produced as H ions
pass through . Reduced NADP ( NADP H ) is formed. This
reduced NADP is used to reduce molecules in the LIGHT
independent reactions of photosynthesis to make
PSI is now short of an electron. IT receives an electron from
PS11 to replace the one that was lost .

Draw the thylakoid membrane.

Light hits Chlorophyll in ______________. The electron gains
energy and leaves the ____________ molecule. The
electron is picked up by ________________________________in
the ___________________________
When the electrons deexcite
_________________________________is synthesized .
At the same time ____________________of water occurs.
Water splits into____________________________________________.
The electrons ____________________the oxidized
________________in PS11.
The _________________ are needed to
The ____________diffuses out of the _______________.
Light also hits _____________.
Electrons are __________________________. These electrons
are taken up by --_____________together with H ions to
form ___________________.
PS1 is ______________ reduced again by the electron from
As H ions pass through the ATP ase molecule energy is
released so ATP is ___________________


Non cyclic


Carbon dioxide is converted to carbohydrates. These
occur in the Stroma of the chloroplasts, surrounding the
grana. Carbon dioxide readily diffuses into the
chloroplast where it is built up into sugars in a cyclic
process called the Calvin cycle.

What are the products of the LDR __________________

Where does the LDR occur._____________
Where does the Light Independent Reaction occur___________.
What are the products of the Light Independent
The Light Independent Reaction does not require light but it
requires the _____________ OF the LDR to continue. So it
needs light indirectly.

The Calvin Cycle

Intermediates of the Calvin Cycle:
- RuBP(RibuloseBiphosphate)
- Rubisco(RibuloseBiphophate Carboxylase/Oxygenase
- GP (Glycerate 3 phosphate)

- TP (Triose phosphate) = GALP (Glyceraldehyde 3


- The enzyme ruibisco combines RuBP with CO to form an unstable 6

carbon molecule. It quickly splits into 2 GP (Glycerate 3 phosphate)
molecules which are 3 carbons each. The rubisco enzyme is the
rate determining factor as it is affected by temperatue.

- Glycerate 3 phosphate is then reduced using ATP energy & H+

from NADPH (from the light dependent reactions) to form 2 GALP
- (3 carbons each).
When the calvein cycle rotates 6 times 12 GALP are formed. Two
GALP are used to form one glucose molecule.
The other 10 are recycled to form on RUBP using ATP again
Other products formed are lipids and amino acids


An ecosystem is a life supporting environment which

includes all living organisms which interact together, the
nutrients that cycle through the system, and the physical &
chemical environment in which the organisms are living.
Habitat place where an organism lives. IT Can be separated
into parts called microhabitats . eg a pond in a forest or a log
in a forest.
It is the way a species exploits the environment and the role of
the organism in the community.Each species has it own niche.
No two species s occupy the same niche.
It can be divided into food niche and habitat niche.
Population group of organisms of the same species living in
the same place at the same time .they are able to breed and
produce fertile offspring.
Community all the populations of different species living in a
habitat at any one time.
Abiotic factors non-living elements of the habitat of an
organism e.g. sunlight, temperature, soil, ph.
Biotic factors living elements of a habitat which affect the
ability of a group of organisms to survive there e.g. the
presence of suitable prey will affect the number of predators in
the habitat

A habitat is _______________________________ eg
____________. A Niche is the role of ________________________________________________________

Bioshpere. the biosphere is the largest

ecosystem .
A biome The biosphere is divided into is major
ecosystems called a biome. Each Biome has similar climates
and plant communities. Biomes are then divided into smaller
The biomes are
Tropical Rainforest high humidity,
warm and plenty of sunlight, rain all year.
Savannah dry tropical grassland.
Medium level of biodiversity.
Tropical Woodland wetter than
savannah, grassland with thorn woods,
bushes and trees
Desert very little rainfall, often
extreme of temp. between day and
Taiga evergreen forests in cold subarctic & subalpine regions
Tundra very cold, arctic & high mountain regions

How ecosystems evolve .

The major biomes of the earth developed over

millions of years from bare rock. This is called
SUCCESSION Communities of animals and plants colonise an area,
and over time are replaced by other, usually more varied
Def : it is a sequence of changes in communities

over a period time

The first species to colonise are the primary species.

Primary Succession
- Pioneer species such as algae or lichens penetrate the
bare rock.
- The pioneer species break the bare rock into grains. ,by
enzymes . They release nutrients from the rock. The pioneer
species then die making organic matter called
- HUMUS, -Humus is decomposed organic matter . which
creates the foundations of soil.
- Soil is inorganic rock and organic humus.
- Once soil is established, plants which require soil such as
grasses and ferns colonise the area

- When these primary colonisers,die more humus is added

to the soil, so the nutrient content develops. The
environment is less hostile .New species colonise.
- Secondary colonisers
- Larger plants can be supported , biodiversity
- Roots hold the soil together and retain more water
- Animals can be supported and diversity increases.
- Larger trees block the growth of smaller plants, due to
competition for sunlight & species diversity drops.

Climax community: the final community in a is

the most stable and self sustaining community. There is usually
one dominant species and a few co dominant species.

Why is a climax community stable.? If one food chain

disappears then another food source is available .so
one species can obtain food from another.

Explain ecological succession.

1. pioneer species colonise an area eg LiCHEN AND

2. They are able to grow on no soil. They break up rocks
by secreting enzymes and form thin soil ,.They
release minerals changing the soil structure.
3. Pioneer species die and decompose increasing the
organic matter (humus) and mineral content in the
soil .
4. Plants and ferns establish small short roots systems
so they are able to grow in thin soil .
5. As plants lose leaves and die they decay forming
more organic matter or humus.
6. One species outcompetes the other.
7. Soil is able to retain water and minerals.
8. Changes in soil structure enable trees to grow .
9. Larger plants can be supported.
10. Plant and animal biodiversity increases
Explain succession and climax community
Change in community over time due to biotic changing and abiotic
factors which leads to change in species diversity
In A climax community there is no further succession It is the final

Ecological succession is

Climax community is
1. reference to lichens and mosses as pioneer
community ;
2. able to grow in {little / no} soil
3. (that) breaks up (rock) fragments / forms
{thin / shallow / soil;
4. reference to {plants with {small / short / roots ;
5. (able to) grow in {thin / shallow soil /
6. idea that changes in soil structure enable
{trees / shrubs} to grow /
general points:
7. reference to soil able to {hold / retain / contain /
eq} {water / minerals} ;
8. as plants {lose leaves / die / decay / ;
9. reference to {organic matter / humus /
{increases / released /
10. reference to competition effects ;
What is climax community and why is it stable;
2. it includes (both) animals and plants / has many
species / has high biodiversity
3.there is interaction between species
4. climax community has a balanced equilibrium of species ; has a dominant species and many codominant plant
or animal) species
6. it is stable if no there is no change to environment eg by human
influence} ;

Secondary Succession is the evolution of an ecosystem

where soil already exists but without vegetation.
It occurs after a fire ,flood or human intervention

1-In the soil there are seeds , roots and

organic matter. Succession occurs at a
much faster rate than in primary
2 it continues with similar steps to primary
succession except without the pioneer
Secondary species colonise they die decompose and increase
organic matter into the soil making the soil less hostile. The
new species colonises.
Biodiversity increases. Reaching a climax community much
faser than primary succession.
The new climax community may be different from the original
Difference between secondary succession and primary
Primary succession starts from bare rock
Secondary succession starts from land which already has soil
but has been cleared due to a fire / or grazing or cutting down
.What is plegioclimax
When succession is stopped by human intervention so climax
community is not reached. Eg cutting down trees , burning the
land , grazing cattle



One Aspect of ecology is to try understand how

different factors affect living organisms and
determine the distribution of organisms in a
particular habitat.
The community of organisms in a habitat is
controlled by abiotic and biotic factors.
The interaction of these factors results in
different ecological niche.

Light plants need light for photosynthesis.

-if plants are in shady areas they may have larger leaves
-some plants reproduce earlier in the year eg spring because
later on in summer they will be overshadowed by taller trees
-some plants may have extra chlorophyll pigments which are
sensitive to low light intensities
-another factor is light duration
- Animals are also affected indirectly by light

The extremes of temperature determine where an organism
lives because each organism has a range of temperatures where
it can grow and reproduce
It affects the rate of enzyme controlled reactions maily in
plants and ectotherms
Wind/water current
Wind increases water and heat loss . In strong water current
organisms have to flow with the current , be strong swimmers
Or be able to anchor themselves in order to survive.

Water availability
Water availability depends on
- Amount of precipitation
- Rate of evaporation of water
- And edaphic factors eg sandy soils in the desert do not
hold water like clay
soils. Water drains through
Water is vital for survival unless organisms have special
adaptation factors eg
camel in the desert , cacti (xerophytes )

oxygen availability
In water -For sufficient oxygen to
dissolve in water it must be cold and
fast flowing. Warm still or stagnant
water decreases the oxygen
In Soils- soils need to be well aerated . if they become
waterlogged spaces fill with water. So there is little oxygen.
Roots cannot respire so plants die.

Edaphic factors
The type of soil determine the type of
plant which survive.
1-sand-Loose shifting structure very
few plants can grow in these soils.
Maram grass has massive root system .
Their presence can allow for other
species to colonise as thy bind sand
2 soil with high proportion of sand are light .Water drains
easily through it causing leaching of minerals and decreases
the fertility of soils.
3-clay soils these are heavy soils with
small particles. They become easily
waterlogged, so less oxygen availability
4-Loam soils sand has a wide range
of sizes. It is the best type of soil and
does not get waterlogged so has a higher plant diversity.




Plants depend on light

for photosynthesis and
must be able to cope in
areas with low levels of


There is a range of
temperatures which
allow growth and
reproduction for
particular organisms.
The temperature in an
area also affects the
rate of enzyme
controlled reactions in
Wind increases water
and heat loss from the
body ad adds to the
environmental stress
an organism has to
cope with.
Water is vital for living

Some plants are able to

reproduce and thrive in low
light levels, having extra
chlorophyll or other
chlorophyll pigments which
are sensitive to lower light
levels. Animals behaviour
may be affected by seasonal
light changes, as well as
reproductive patterns.
Above or below that range,
reproduction does not occur,
even if the organism
survives. It is the extreme of
temperature which
determines where an
organism can live, not the





Oxygen can be in short

supply in both water
and soil. When water is
cold sufficient oxygen

Few species can survive in

areas with strong prevailing
winds while occasional gales
and hurricanes can devastate
So where the supply is
limited it will cause severe
problems. Organisms may die
if the stress becomes too
severe if like camels and
cacti, the have adaptations to
enable them to survive.
The spaces between soil
particles contain air so there
is plenty of oxygen for the
respiration of plant roots. In

dissolves in it to
support life and vice
versa. Soil is usually
well aerated.

& mineral

Plant populations that

are linked by massive
root and rhizome
networks, such as
marram grass can
survive in loose,
shifting structures such
as sand. They bind the
sand together which
makes it more suited
for colonisation by
other species.

waterlogged soil, the air

spaces are filled with water
so plant roots may be
deprived of oxygen and may
Soil that contains high
proportion of sand are light,
easily worked and warmed.
However, also easily drained
so water passes through
them rapidly, carry with it
minerals needed for plants.
The opposite occurs for soils
made of predominantly tiny
clay particles.


Prey predator cycle
As the amount of prey increases there is more food available
for predators. So after a while the predator population
increases. As the predator population increases the number of
prey will eventually decrease because of too many predators.
Eventually the predators decrease. So there is a repeating
Population sizes depend on biotic and abiotic factors.

In reality it is not this simple. Predators have other prey

to feed on and prey have other food sources too

Finding a Mate

Finding a member of the opposite sex in a

habitat to reproduce with is important in order
for a population to survive in that area.

Animals may show territorial behaviour. This

is an area which is defended by an animal
against other organisms. This is to secure an
organism with sufficient resources to raise
its offspring.

Parasitism and disease

Diseased animals may not reproduce successfully. The disease mat

spread rapidly to other populations or even a whole community.
Parasites live off their host and may wipe out a whole population
When the population has a high density the disease spreads faster.
In a community with a high biodiversity the spread of disease would
be less.


aBy adding food the hare density more than tripled.

Excluding predators hare density more than doubled
Fertilizer had no major effect
Adding food and removing predators increased the hare

density by 15
b-If food is added hares breed more successfully .However there

is also more food for predators. So they will also breed

successfully. So the impact of food is not illustrated in the
population numbers.
Only when predators are removed is there a large increase in hare

c- Population sizes cannot increase exponentially. There are

other limiting factors even if there is extra food or no predators.

These limiting factors are

Less space
Spread of disease

What limits the size of a population

nutrient availability
number of producers
interspecific and
spread of disease
space for breeding
light intensity affecting

The factors affecting a population can be

categorized as density dependent or density
independent .
Density independent factors ( not affected by the
population size. ) may limit the distribution of animals
Eg extreme temperatures

Density dependent factors ( affected by the size of a

population size


- Intraspecific Competition
- Competition for a limited resource between members
of the same population or species. Eg for
territories ,mates, food ,
As a result of intraspecific
competition, some
individuals may not survive,
or may not reproduce and
so population growth slows.
If there are lots of resources
then lots of breeding , low
mortality. If low resources
lots of competition , less
reproduction and more
- Interspecific Competition occurs when different
species within a community ,compete for the same
resources. Eg space , food .
- If one species out competes the other then it will
drive it to extinction .

Density dependent factor-

Energy Transfer In Ecosystem

Plants make glucose in photosynthesis. This can be turned into other
molecules including starch, cellulose, proteins and fats. This biomass,
is food living organisms
1-Gross primary productivity.
The rate at which energy is incorporated into organic molecules in
the plants in photosynthesis is called gross primary productivity
Plants use some of the organic molecules in respiration to make ATP.
If we take away the respiration from GPP what is left is the rate at
which energy is transferred into new plant biomass that can be
eaten by herbivores or decomposers.
This is called net primary prod uctivity (NPP).
2-Net Primary Productivity (NPP) or The final biomass is
the rest of energy which is stored in body tissues
NPP = GPP Plant Respiration
The energy units are kJ m-2 year-1
3-Biomass body tissue excluding water content units
are g m-2year-1

Energy from producers or previous trophic lenels does not all

become new biomass. Only 10% is passed on to the next
trophic level
Energy is lost due to
Heat from Respiration
Chemical energy in metabolic waste
Heat energy in urine
Excretion -faeces

Undigestible parts
The energy used to make
new animal biomass is
known as SECONDARY

NPP is different in different ecosystems. It depends on all

abiotic and biotic factors that affect plant growth.
Water availability , temperature ,latitude . Near the poles there
is less solar energy input.

Food chains this is a linear energy flow chart showing

feeding interaction between organisms.

Food Web - food chain which shows a

more accurate representation of
interrelationships between organisms
and ecosystem

Suggest two reasons why not all of the solar energy can be used
in photosynthesis.
-Some light reflected back;
-some light misses chloroplasts
-only certain wavelengths of light used (in photosynthesis);

13 Describe the concept of succession to a climax community.

Primary succession Starts with an empty inorganic surface.
The first plants are oppurtunists or pioneer species. These
organisms penetrate the rock surface causing it to break
leading to the production of humus. Humus over time forms
soil. Grasses and ferns establish root systems. More soil
develops. The diversity of species increases until a climax
community is reached; biodiversityis constant
Secondary succession Starts with soil but no vegetation.
For example when rivers shift thecourses, after fires and flood.
The number of species is high from the start. The time to get to
aclimax community is dependent on a number of factors such
as temperature, rainfall and soilfertility. A plagioclimax
community is often reached.

Cycles like the carbon and nitrogen cycle, have a biotic and
abiotic phase.
The biotic phase involves non-living inorganic ions to be
incorporated into living tissue .
The a biotic phase involves inorganic ions being returned to
non-living parts of the ecosystem.

1.Woodlice are decomposers . they eat dead plants

2-carbon is found in organic molecules eg starch in plant
3-enzymes from bacteria digest cellulose to glucose which

is used in respiration
4. carbon dioxide released from respiration
5.this carbon dioxide is available for photosynthesis
1.decomposition / decay / putrefaction } (by microorganisms) ;

2. respiration ;
3. releases carbon dioxide for photosynthesis
4. methane released in anaerobic (conditions);
5. (methane) available as fuel
Causes of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere
Under normal circumstances the CO2 level will remain constant
because the processes which add CO2 are balanced by the
processes that remove CO2 from the atmosphere, i.e. in
But the CO2 level will increase if the processes of the carbon
cycle become unbalanced.
Extra CO2comes from human activities:
o -burning fossil fuels e.g. coal. oil, petrol, natural gas
-burning of trees and tree debris (from felling
operations) releases
o Loss of trees will result in loss of CO2 uptake by
photosynthesis in the short term so CO2 level will rise
o Increase in decomposition of dead organic matter in soil
loss of forest cover exposes soil to the sun so it
warms up so the rate of activity of the
decomposers will increase so releasing more CO 2.
Other possible causes of global warming
Increase in levels of methane from
o anaerobic decay in paddy fields and of domestic refuse
in landfill sites
o flatus from herds of beef and dairy cattle
o melting Siberian permafrost
Increase in water vapour

warming increases evaporation so more water vapour in the

atmosphere which is a greenhouse gas so absorbs more

Carbon sinks-

they can be abiotic or biotic reservoirs

where carbon is removed from the atmosphere and found in
inorganic or organic compounds.
-Biotic sinks are found in the
-producers eg forests take up CO2 by photosynthesis .,
-potatoes store carbon
-Abiotic carbon sinks are
- rocks,
-shells, Calcium carbonate Shells hold CO2
-fossil fuel , ocean
-The ocean is an important carbon sink. The ocean has 50
times more CO2 than the atmostphere. It is taken up by plants
in the water for photosynthesis.
-peat bogs

Sources of carbon dioxide.

Sources of carbon dioxide; processes which add CO 2 to the air

Volcanic activity

Processes which remove CO2 from the air

Biotic Photosynthesis
o carbon atoms become incorporated into organic
o some used as respiratory substrates and so lost
o others used in growth and incorporated into biomass
e.g. wood
o wood in trees acts as a carbon sink because carbon
atoms that were in CO2 accumulate in the biomass
(so effectively lock out of the cycle)
A biotic
o fossil fuels e.g. coal reserves are carbon sinks . Carbon
is locked away in undecomposed organic remains that
have become fossil fuels was once CO 2 in the
atmosphere that was taken up by photosynthesis but
not released by respiration, so this carbon has been
taken out of the cycle
o peat bogs store carbon
o ocean is a carbon sink
o carbonated rocks are carbon sinks.

The carbon Cycle is self regulating so that atmospheric C0 2

remains relatively steady ,however there is evidence that due
to human influences
(eg industrial revolution ,cars ) are increasing C0 2 levels in the

The Greenhouse gases reduce heat

loss from the surface of the earth
causing the greenhouse effect
1. C02
2. Methane
3. Water vapour

Role of methane : Methane has a

larger effect on warming the
atmosphere than C02 , however there is
less of it produced.
Where does methane come from ?
Decay of organic material
Digestion of ruminant herbivores
It can form naturally from C02 and water.

Methane has increased however

1. due to waterlogged rice paddy fields which allow growth for
2. increased cattle farming. More methane is released from

Outline the causes of global warming including the role of

greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane, CH4) in the
greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse effect
light energy from the Sun reaches the Earths surface and is
absorbed so the Earth warms up
some of this energy is radiated back into space as longer
wavelength infrared radiation.
the atmosphere contains gases, including carbon dioxide,
water vapour and methane, which absorb some of this
infrared radiation so stopping it leaving. These are called
greenhouse gases.
this causes the atmosphere to warm up which in turn warms
up the Earths surface.

Greenhouse gases absorb infra red radiation: the main

greenhouse gases are:
water vapour
carbon dioxide
Enhanced greenhouse effect; increased levels of
greenhouse gases, especially CO2 and methane, result in

more heat trapped in the atmosphere leading to global


The consensus view.

The evidence shows a positive
correlation between CO2 levels and
But is does not prove the cause i.e.
it does not prove that the high CO2
levels cause the observed rise in
global temperature
But there is now a great deal of
other evidence supporting the theory that global warming
is caused by rising CO2 levels
18 Analyse and interpret different types of evidence for global
warming and its causes (including records of carbon dioxide levels,
temperature records, pollen in peat bogs and dendrochronology)
recognising correlations and causal relationships.
Looking for evidence

In order to see if global warming has really occurred we need

to find records of past temperature. We only have records of
temperatures up to 1659
Temperature of the earth can be measured using
1. thermometers- long term data sets allow changes in
temperature to be analysed. In England there are records
from 1659 .
Are temperature records reliable ?
Temperature record reliability
- Records only go back to mid 16th centurary
- Early records not reliable
- Inaccurate equipment (only mercury thermometers)
- Records only collected in a few places

- Modern records more reliable: accurate equipment; datalogging/computers allows vast numbers of readings to be
collected and processed
- Records taken from many parts of the world
How can we find evidence of global warming temperatures
before 1659.? We use temperature proxies . Temp proxies give
us an Indication of temperature from sources which do not
provide an exact value.
these are :
2-frozen isotopes in ice cores
3-Dendrochronology -looking at tree rings ,
4-Coral reef data
5-Pollen grains in peat bogs

2-Frozen isotopes
Air trapped in ice when it was formed thousands of years ago
can be analysed . This gives us information about temperatures
and C02 levels in the past .
the air trapped in layers of ice is analysed
proportion of oxygen isotope (016 and 0 18 ) in melted ice
reflect air temperature when the ice was formed at the
Atmospheric C02 can also be measured . We can use
carbon dating to find the year of the ice.
Therefore fluctuations have been noticed in the temperature
causing at different times.

3-Dendrochronology is Studying the size of tree rings .

Tree rings can be studied. Each ring is approximately one year.
The tree rings can be dated by counting inwards.We can look at tree
ring widths over 3000 years and can tell alot about climate from
-If the climate is warm and wetter the tree rings are
Thicker and wider
- If the climate is colder the tree rings are thinner are narrower .
-scientists can see what the climate is like each year.
To check reliability scientists can compare trees of the same
species 200 km apart
Many factors such as sunlight, temperature, CO2 levels and rainfall
affect tree ring growth making dendrochronology somewhat
Therefore an increase in tree ring width might not necessarily mean
higher temperature as other factors can cause increase in width.

-ref to tree rings;
- ref to tree ring growing yearly / eq ;
- idea that tree rings can be dated by counting inwards ;
- idea that thicker / wider tree rings reflects amount of growth ;
- in warmer conditions the rings are thicker (better growth) ;
- scientists can see what the climate is like each year ;
4-Coral reef data looking at the coral reefs by examming the
proportion of CO 2 isotopes can increase the valitidy of
5-Peat Bogs
A bog is a wetland that accumulates peat. Peat
is formed when plant material dies eg moss but
does not decompose due to acidic cool ,
anaerobic conditions.
Pollen grains are preserved in peat bogs due
these conditions.
Different plants grow in the different climatic
conditions, therefore analysis of what pollen is in
the peat gives an idea of what the temperature
and climate was like. The lower you go into the
peat bog, the longer the time difference.
Carbon dating tells us about the age of the
So how exactly does observing pollen in peat bog tell us about the

1- The lower you go the older the pollen grain. We can find the
year using carbon dating.
2- From our knowledge we know that different species of plant
grow in different climatic
a) Cotton grass pollen indicates cool wet conditions
b) Horse chest nut pollen indicates the climate was warmer .
3- From this we can infer what the climatic conditions were likely
to be when the pollen was deposited

Peat bogs Provide information back possibly as far as the last
Ice Age
(circa 12 000 years ago).
Peat formed when plant material dies but does not decompose
The peat accumulates in successive layers; lowest layers are
the oldest: pollen trapped in peat layers
Use of carbon dating techniques can establish the age of the
Why peat bogs?
-Provides information from long periods ago e.g. ice age ;
- Peat formed when plant material dies but does not
- the . lowest layers are the oldest: pollen trapped in peat
layers] ;
- Use of carbon dating techniques can establish the age of the
layers ;
- the type of pollen tells us the climatic condition at the time.
ARE a carbon sink . in the peat there ia dead organic matter
which has not decomposed due to acidic anaerobic conditions.

When peat bogs are dug up carbon dioxide is released into the
So, what does all this combined evidence show?
The Earth appears to have been warmer since 1980 than at any
time in the last 18 centuries.
The Earth has warmed by 0.5oC over the last centuryand at
least 0.2oC in the last 20 years or so - the greatest amount by
which it has warmed or cooled over the space of a century in
the past.

Increasing data reliability

Wiggle matching process which uses dendrochonolgy and peat bog
dating to confirm radio carbon dating.
A graph is formed to compare the age (known from trees ) or
samples of peat bog with known age compared with radio carbon
measurements so they can calibrate results.

This gives scientists more evidence of the age In 2008 scientists

used many temperature proxies without tree rings. They got the
same hockey stick graph.

Evidence for increase levels of CO2

In Hawaii there is Mauna Loa observatory station where the air is
sampled continuously for CO2 concentration. It has shown that

atmospheric CO2 has increased over the last 50 years .The small
annual fluctuations are due to different rates in carbon fixation of

Global warming debate.

Correlation When one variable changes, another changes
Causation when one variable causes change in another.
Evidence suggests that there is a correlation between increased
CO2 and increased temperature.
However : it is difficult to know whether the
Increase in green house gases has increased the global temperature
Or increased temperature has increased hte green hose gases.
Today it is suggested ,using computer models , evidence of polar ice
melting and climate change that atmospheric CO2 is resonsibele for
the warming. So there is a causal link. However it is multi factorial.

Why does reduction in use of fossil fuels not

lead to less global warming .
1- Carbon dioxide produced by using fossil fuels
-however there is no (direct) evidence that increased
carbon dioxide leads to global warming
2- carbon dioxide released from other processes eg
burning wood;
3-removal of carbon sinks by deforestation may lead
to increase in carbon dioxide ;
4- other greenhouse gas released from another source
e.g. CFC, water vapour, methane also cause green
house effect
5-. ruminant animals, paddy fields, melting ice,
clearance of peat
land ;
6 NATURAL EVENTS- idea of natural {cycles / events /
phenomena / eq} may be involved (in global warming)
e.g. solar, volcanoes ;
7--Evidence from past being used is not in indicator of
future events limitations of (climatic)
8- scientists may be biased ; vested interest,

Model of global warming and its effects

Models presenting accurate data from the past will allow

scientists to predict the future more accurately.they are never
perfect but make the best prediction
Predicting the future:

1-Extrapolating data by using the trend from past data has

both advantage and limitations.
Extrapolation Assumes: there is enough data to establish the
trend accurately e.g. in fossil fuel use, no changes in control of
We can Plan for problems arising from increase in co2 levels
and global warming in the future
-Many limitations eg
It is impossible to predict exact imput of CO2
It is impossible to predict impact of global warming on
-We cannot take into account future unknown factors which
could increase or decrease carbon dioxide emissions.

Limited data accurate records do not go back far enough to

produce a reliable trend line - but bigger datasets are
becoming increasingly available e.g. accurate CO 2 data only
from 1950s, early temperature measurements inaccurate
using mercury or alcohol thermometers
Models assume existing trends will continue (by
extrapolation of a trend line which has lots of fluctuations in
it these are limitations in themselves!)
Not all factors included; e.g. effects of increasing cloud
cover, decreasing snow cover; unforeseen factors (e.g. major
volcanic events,
changes in solar radiation levels) could upset models too.

2-Use of computer models to predict possible future changes

looks forward and makes predictions based on current

15 Describe the effects of global warming (rising temperature,

changing rainfall patterns and seasonal cycles) on plants and
animals (distribution of species, development and life cycles).

Changing rainfall patterns

some areas will get increased rainfall, resulting in flooding
other areas will get less rain resulting
Changes is seasonal cycles
Winters are warmer and shorter.
Spring is warmer and comes earlier .
Dry seasons may last longer
warmer autumns

Rising sea levels

Increased temperatures can lead to higher sea-levels (+ 30 cm)
through several
mechanisms melting of ice pack and glaciers thermal
expansion of sea water
Global warming and decomposition
As temperatures of soils increase enzyme activity of
decomposers increases
so more decomposition of dead organic matter in soil occurs.
products of decomposition are used by the decomposers for
which itself increases as a result of the warmer temperatures
so more CO2 (and methane) is released

Rising temperature Ice caps melt leading to increased risk of


If the temperature increase beyond the optimum temperature the

enzymes will denature
Increasing temperature increases on rate of growth and
Plants grow faster, so they will be able to take up more carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere.
Organisms between the tropics have little tolerance for change as
conditions remain constant all year round. A change of a few degrees
can be fatal to some organisms.
In higher latitudes, plants and animals reproduce earlier. For some
animals, breeding earlier in the year means they can fit more than
one breeding cycle in a year.
Species distribution Because animals can move more easily than
plants, they are able to survive change more easily. So as areas
become warmer, organisms extend their range northwards and
become extinct in the south. Others may be able to colonise a larger
area. There could be an increase in insect-borne disease in the UK.

16 Explain the effect of increasing temperature on the rate of

enzyme activity in plants,animals and micro-organisms.

Increasing temperature increases the rate of enzyme activity in

organisms. This is because the enzyme and substrate increase in
kinetic energy. This increase in kinetic energy means that the
enzyme and substrates collide more often.
More enzyme substrate complexes are formed up to optimum;
After optimum Rate of reaction decreases;
- High temperatures cause denaturation/loss of tertiary
structure/3D structure;
- By breaking H bonds (not peptide bond); - Active site altered/substrate cannot bind/fit/
Effect of increased temperature for animals (from global
-global warming raises temperature ;
- metabolic processes speed up
- rate of growth rises
- life cycle becomes faster

up to optimum
then metabolic processes slow down
rate of growth falls
life cycle slows down ;

Effect of global warming on distribution of organisms

- changing conditions e.g. rising temperatures ;
- if temperature is too high
- organisms may migrate
- this results in change of biodiversity
-resulting in increased competition effects
- range of organisms {expanding / growing / increasing / eq} ;
- plants do not move so do not survive in drought and there is
overgrowth in heavy rainfall
Not a mark scheme but a developed answer on why
temperature increases affects organisms

Enzyme activity is temperature-sensitive; increases in

temperature increase rate of reactions
Rate of photosynthesis could increase so more energy
fixed so increasing growth; this may give competitors an
advantage so one species may increase and another decrease
This may mean more food for some species of primary
consumer and less for others, with the consequent changes in
prey abundance/choice for predators so altering the dynamics
of food webs
Means rate of photosynthesis may be sufficient to support
growth further north because it is now warmer. But
temperature may be too high in the southern limits so enzyme
rates increase differently and metabolic sequences become
chaotic; increased temperature may increase respiration >p/s
so less growth possible; high temps reduce amount of water so
p/s decreases, so a plants distribution may shift northwards,
and increased p/s there may mean these plants now grow
better and outcompete other species
May alter the synchronisation between life cycles in the
environment e.g. flowers may be produced before their insect
pollinators have hatched, so flowers dont get pollinated which
will reduced their numbers, and the insects dont get their food
so their numbers decrease too
Or food plants have grown earlier and so died off before
caterpillars appear from eggs laid by butterflies so numbers of
butterflies could decrease, and birds that depend on caterpillars
have less food with which to raise their youngor insect life
cycles speed up so that larvae or adults are produced before
the food plants
Seeds may not germinate if dont get the cold stimulus from a
cold winter; over-wintering stages of insect pests wont get
killed leading to pest epidemics in the following year
But natural selection will operate too so that, in any
population with some individuals with the combinations of
genes to enable them to survive long enough to breed will do
so, so more of the offspring inherit the genes so the
population becomes adapted to the changing conditions e.g.

insects hatch earlier too so they remain in synchronisation

with their food plants
Risk of flooding
Antartic temperaturs increase by
2.5 c over last 50 years
Arctic sea , ice and glaciers have
been retreating
(moving back )
Ice melts so there is an increase
in water volumein the sea
Sea level rises
Water gets warmer
Volume increases further
Areas in countries near the sea
could be lost.

Climate change:
Rising temperatures affect weather and rainfall patterns.
However , we cannot link specific weather events to global
Less rainfall therefore drought
More rainfall therefore flooding.
The effect on organisms
Majority of species found here
Little tolerance for change in conditions eg insect pollination
very vulnerable
Higher altitudes
Several cycles affect lifecycles and distribution of species
Warmer temperature cause plants and flowers to grow earlier
Insects become active earlier and the caterpillars have food ,
however the blue tit has not changed as much so their young
are not born at peak seasons of caterpillars.
Trophic levels :


blue tit

Caterpillar will turn into moth and reduce food available for
blue tis chicks
Other species eg crocodiles need the temperature of 30-33 C so
that both male and female hatch .
If warmer or cooler only females will hatch which can
eventually cause the species to go extinct.

Climate change; what to do about it.

If we accept the CO2 levels are rising and are probably linked to
rising global temperatures, what can be done about it ? How
could we restore the CO2 balance?
1: Reduce CO2 release by reducing use of fossil fuels
2: use alternative sources of energy e.g. nuclear power,
wind, wave power
3: Use of biofuels (= biomass)
o biofuels are any source of energy produced, directly in
They can be any kind of fuel made from living things e.g.
wood (e.g. willow biomass), or from the waste they
produce e.g. straw, chicken waste,
o or ethanol (from fermentation of plant biomass ) or
methane, (from fermentation of animal waste, sewage
waste), or biofuel oils from plants
o biofuels such as wood are
o carbon neutral i.e. they fix CO2 from the
atmosphere by p/s to grow, so burning simply
releases this CO2 back into the atmosphere again
to be re-used in photosynthesis by more growing
o since burning a biofuel replaces the CO2 used in its
growth there is no net increase in CO2 levels in the
o In theory at least, using biofuels means less fossil
fuels are burned so reducing CO2 emissions.
Unlike fossil fuels, biofuels are renewable and sustainable
o i.e. can regrow to replace what has been harvested so
more is produced
o unlike fossil fuels which are not renewable(i.e. once
burned, they have gone)
4: Increasing CO2 uptake by photosynthesis by new forests

5-Limitations of reforestation:
o Only a limited amount of land which can be used to grow
forests (land needed to live on, grow food on etc, plus trees
dont grow above the tree line)

Speciation & Evolution

Mechanisms of Speciation Populations that have been
isolated for millions of years can remain effectively the same
species. However, populations living next door to each other
can begin to form new species. Reproductive isolation is crucial

to speciation and this occurs when fertilisation is prevented

(prezygotic) or when the zygote fails or is unable to breed
Speciation Occurs
when populations
are geographically

- Habitat Isolation
occupy different
habitats in the
same area, and
therefore do not

Gametic Isolation
Sex cells of opposite
sexes are

- Mechanical

Sympatric Speciation Occurs when

populations are geographically near but
other barriers prevent reproduction such

- Temporal
Species exist in
the same area but
are reproductively
active at different
times of the year


- Low Hybrid
Adult Viability
Offspring of two
different species
are not healthy
enough to survive

- Low Hybrid
- Behavioural
populations do not
respond to each
others mating

Zygote Vigour
Zygote fails to
develop and dies
or produces
offspring with
severe disability

- Hybrid Infertility
organs do not fit
Offspring of two
together with all
different species
potential members
are not fertile
of the same
A number of changes take place in the place of any

mammal after death which can be helpful in estimating

the time of death.
- The normal human body temp is 37C, at death the
metabolic reactions which have created the body

heat slow down and eventually stop. Although body

temp. Starts to fall straight after death, it plateaus for
a while before dropping steadily to room temp. As a
result, the temp. of a body will give some indication
of how long they have been dead.
Rigor Mortis a stiffening effect caused by lack of ATP
in the muscles & muscle fibres becoming permanently
contracted and locked solid. On average rigor mortis
starts about 2-4 hours after death, begins in the face &
neck and works its way down the body.

Stages of Succession
- The first colonisers are anaerobic bacteria,
which do not need oxygen and thrive in the
lactic acid rick environment of the muscles
after death.

- As enzymes break down cells, the bacteria

spread & are joined by several species of
flies mostly blowflies. These insects can
arrive on the body within minutes of death as
they are attracted to the moisture and smell of
natural orifices of the body as well as open
- The main attraction of the body is a site to lay
eggs. Maggots begin to hatch and feed on the
tissues, breaking them down.
- The maggots pupate, turn into flies, mate &
start the cycle again. As the tissues of the body
liquefy, adult flies can feed on this too.
- Beetles then begin to lay eggs on the carcass
& parasitic wasps arrive to lay their eggs
in the larvae.
- As the body is digested it also dries out, which
doesnt suit the early colonisers. Different
species such as the cheese flies and coffin flies
move in.
- As the body becomes too dry for maggots,
carcass beetles, ham beetles and hide beetles
feed on the remains of the muscles and
connective tissues
- At the very end, mites and other larvae
will feed on the hair until only dry bones
are left.

- Viruses are the smallest
of all microorganisms.
They are not cells, but
arrangements of
genetic material and
protein that invade
other living cells & take
over their biochemistry
to make more viruses.
- Most scientists class viruses as obligate
intracellular parasites meaning they can
exist and reproduce as parasites only in the
cells of other living organisms.
The Structure of Viruses

The protein coat

or capsid is
made up of
simple repeating
protein units
arranged in
different ways. In
some viruses, the
genetic material
and protein coat are covered by a lipid
envelope, produced from the host cell. The
presence of the envelope makes it easier for
the viruses to pass from cell to cell but it
does make them vulnerable to substances such
as ether which will dissolve the lipid membrane.
Viral genetic material can be DNA or RNA, and
nucleic acid can be single or double stranded.
Viral RNA directs the synthesis of a special
enzyme called reverse transcriptase which
proceeds to make DNA molecules corresponding
to the viral genome.
Viruses attach to their host cells by means of
specific proteins (antigens) known as Viral
attachment particles(VAPs) which target
proteins in the host cell surface membrane.

Virus Life Cycles

Bacteriophages inject their genome into the

host bacterial cell but the bulk of the viral
material remains outside the bacterium. The viral
DNA forms a plasmid within the bacterium. The

viruses that infect animals get into the cells in

several ways. Some types are taken into the cell
by endocytosis & the host cell then digests the
capsid, releasing the viral genetic material. The
viral envelope fuses with the host cell surface,
releasing the rest of the virus inside the cell
membrane. Plant viruses usually get into the
plant cell using a vector (often an insect) to
pierce the cellulose cell wall.
2 routes of infection
- Lysogenic Pathway Many viruses are nonvirulent when they first get into the host cell.
They insert their DNA into the host DNA so it is
replicated every time the host cell divides. This
inserted DNA is called a provirus. During this
period of lysogeny, when the virus is part of
the reproducing host cells, the virus is said to
be dormant.
- Lytic Pathway Sometimes the viral genetic
material is replicated independently of the
host DNA straight after entering the host.
Mature viruses are made & eventually the host
cell bursts, releasing large numbers of new
virus particles to invade other cells. The virus is
said to be virulent (disease causing) & the
process of replicating & killing cells is known as
the lytic pathway.
1.Bacteriophage attracts bacterium
2.Phage DNA is injected into host cell. It
brings about the synthesis of viral enzymes

3.A. Viral DNA is incorporated into host cell

DNA & replicated each time the bacterium
divides, without causing any damage.
B. OR Phage DNA inactivates the host
DNA and takes over the cell biochemistry
4.Phage DNA is replicated. New phage
particles are assembled as new protein
coats are made around phage DNA. The
enzyme lysozyme is synthesised or
5.Lysis the bacterial cell bursts due to the
action of lysozyme, releasing up to
1000phages to infect other bacteria & the
cycle begins again.

Retroviruses have a more complex life
cycle. Their genetic material is viral
RNA. This cannot be used as mRNA but
is translated into DNA using reverse
1. The retrovirus attacks an animal cell
2. Viral RNA enters the host cell. This RNA
cannot be used as mRNA.
3. Viral RNA is translated into viral DNA
by reverse transcriptase in the

4. Viral DNA is incorporated into the host

DNA in the nucleus. It directs the
production of new viral genome RNA,
mRNA and coat proteins.
5. New viral particles are assembled and
leave the host cell by exocytosis. Viral
DNA remains in the nucleus so the process
is repeated.
6. The host cell continues to function
as a virus making factory, while the
new viruses move on to infect other

Flagella & Pilli

Cytoplasm - About 75%

water in which are
dissolved proteins
(mainly enzymes)
Lipoproteins, sugars,
amino acids and fatty
acids, inorganic salts,
and the waste products
of metabolism.

Flagella are rigid protein strands that arise from basal

bodies in the plasma membrane in some bacteria. They
bring about movement by rotating from their base,
driven by the basal body.
Pilli are tiny tubular structures that arise from the cell
membrane of some bacteria. They enable bacteria to
attach to surfaces and to other bacteria.

Cell Wall
Protects against rupture due
to osmosis and keep shape.
Rigid wall containing giant
molecules consisting of
amino sugars and

A slime layer or
capsule is made
up of additional
materials that are
laid down on the
outer surface of
the wall. Capsules
are firmly
attached, whereas
slime layers may
diffuse into the

Ribosomes - Sites of
protein synthesis.
Bacterial ribosomes
are known as 70S
ribosomes because
they are smaller than
those in the
cytoplasm of plant
and animal cells and
fungi (called 80S

Plasma Membrane Consists of

phospholipids and
Infoldings of the plasma
Additional hereditary
proteins arranged in the
membrane found in
material small rings of DNA,
fluid mosaic model.
some bacterial cells. In
present in the cytoplasm of
Carbohydrates attach to
the photosynthetic
some but not all bacteria.
some lipids forming
bacteria, they are
There are two different
walls and some
the of bacterial cell glycolipids
proteins forming
which can be distinguished
by Gram Staining.
glycoproteins on the


Gram positive bacteria

have a thick layer of
peptidoglycan containing
chemicals such as teichoic
acid. The crystal violet in the
stain binds to the acid &
resists decolouring, leaving
the positive PURPLE/BLUEin
Gram negative bacteria
have a thinner layer of
peptidogylcan with no
teichoic acid. Any crystal
violet which does bind is readily decolourised &
replaced with red safranine in the stain, so the cells
appear RED in colour.

- by shape
Cocci (spherical)
Bacilli (rod shaped)
Vibrios (comma shaped)


Reproduction of Bacteria
Bacteria can reproduce in two main ways. The
most common is Asexual Reproduction (binary
fission) splitting into two. One the bacterium
reaches a certain size, the DNA is replicated and
the old cell wall begins to break down around the
middle of the cell. Enzymes break open the
circular piece of DNA allowing the strands to
unwind and be replicated.

Another form of reproduction is Sexual

reproduction. In very rare conditions, bacteria
can reproduce using what appear to be different
forms of sexual reproduction. There are 3 ways in
which genetic material from one bacterium cab
be taken in and used as part of the DNA of
another bacterium.

A short piece of DNA is released by a donor and
actively taken up by a recipient where it replaces
a similar piece of DNA. Only occurs in certain
types of bacteria.
Takes place when a small amount of DNA is
transferred from one bacterium to another by a
bacteriophage. Bacteriophage attaches to the
bacterial cell wall. Enzymes are released to break
down the cell wall. New bacteriophage forms and
some bacteria DNA is included by mistake

Conjugation genetic information is transferred

from one bacterium to another by direct contact.
The donor cell is similar to a male cell and this
produces a sex pillus, a cytoplasmic bridge
between the two cells through which DNA is
transferred to the recipient cell, similar to the
female cell


Lipopolysaccharides (part of
the outer layer of gram negative bacteria)
- Rarely fatal
- Tend to cause symptoms such as fever, vomiting & diarrhoea
- E.g. Salmonella &E.coli
- However symptoms may indirectly lead to death
- Soluble proteins produced & released into the body by
bacteria as they metabolise and reproduce.
- There are many different types; some damage cell
membranes causing internal bleeding, some act as
competitive inhibitors to neurotransmitters, whilst others
directly poison cells.
- Rarely cause fevers but so include some of the most
dangerous bacterial diseases.
- E.g. Clostridium botulinum produces one of the most toxic
substances known, botulinum toxin

- Many bacteria in the body is beneficial,
helping to break down food and keeping
pathogens at bay by outcompeting
them. The normal growth of bacteria on
your skin or in your gut is referred to as
the skin flora or gut flora
Probiotic drinks and foods contain cultures
of these good bacteria to help support
the normal healthy bacterial flora of the
- Bacteria also play a vital role in the ecosystems of the
natural world. The majority of bacteria are decomposers.
They break down organic material to produce simple
inorganic molecules such as CO2 and water.
- They release inorganic nitrogen which returns to the soil
in the nitrogen cycle, and also sulphur compound which
returns to the soil or water.
- Another important aspect of bacteria is in the carbon cycle is
the fact that some microorganisms produce the enzyme
cellulase. This enzyme breaks down the cellulose produced
in plant cell walls to give sugars which can then be used as
food by a wide range of other microorganisms.


Pathogens are transmitted in a variety of ways:
- Vectors - a living organism that transmits infection from one
host to another E.g. Insects Malaria
- Fomites inanimate objects that carry pathogens from one
host to another E.g. Hospital towels & bedding
- Direct Contact many sexual diseases are spread by direct
contact of genital organs E.g. Gonorrhoea or Syphilis
- Inhalation coughing, sneezing, &
talking release droplets which
contain pathogens E.g Tuberculosis
& Influenza
- Ingestion Contaminated food
the risk is greatest in raw or
undercooked food E.g. Salmonella

- Inoculation directly through a break in the skin either

through contaminated medical instruments or shared
needles in drug abuse. An infected animal may also bite or
lick you. E.g. H.I.V or Rabies

- An impenetrable layer toughened by keratin, a fibrous
structural protein
- Forms a physical barrier between the pathogen laden
environment & the blood rich tissues beneath the skin
- Sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin contains
chemicals which inhibit the growth of microorganisms
- Natural skin flora prevent disease by competing
successfully for a position on the skin & produce substances
that inhibit the growth of other microorganisms

- Surfaces of internal tubes & ducts are more vulnerable than
skin however these epithelial layers also produce defensive
secretions. Many produce MUCUS.
- MUCUS contains lysozymes, enzymes capable of
destroying microbial cell walls, particularly against gram
positive bacteria, breaking cross linkage in the the
peptidoglycans in the bacterial cell wall.
- Lysozymes are also present in tears, the secretions
produced to keep the eyes moist & to protect them from the
entry of pathogens.

- Part of the non-specific defence of the body

- Saliva in the mouth has bacterial properties. Some
polypeptides produced in the salivary glands destroy
bacteria while others slow down bacterial growth.
- Acid in the stomach destroys the majority of ingested
- The natural flora in the gut usually competes successfully
for both nutrients and space with any microorganisms which
manage to get through the stomach & produces antimicrobial compounds
- VOMITING is effectively removing many of the
microorganisms physically from the system when the body is


Inflammation is a common way in which our bodies respond
to infection.
- Special cells called mast cells are found in the connective
tissue below the skin & around blood vessels. When this
tissue is damaged, mast cells along with damaged white
blood cells release chemicals known as HISTAMINES.
- These cause the blood vessels in the area to dilate, causing
local heat& redness. The raised temp. reduces the
effectiveness of pathogen reproduction in the area.
- Histamines also make the walls of the capillaries lady as the
cells forming the walls separate slightly. As a result, fluid
including plasma, WBCs & antibodies is forced out of
the capillaries causing swelling.
- The WBCs & antibodies destroy the pathogens.
Fever occurs when a pathogen infects the body which cause
the hypothalamus to reset to a higher temp. This helps in 2

- A raised temp. will reduce the ability of many pathogens to

reproduce effectively & so they cause less damage.
- Specific response works better at a higher temp. &
therefore will be more successful at combating the infection.
Phagocytosis involves white blood cells. There are 2 main
types of white blood cells; the granulocytes which have
granules that can be stained in their
cytoplasm &agranulocyteswhich have no
- Phagocyte is a general term for white
blood cells which engulf & digest
pathogens and any other foreign material
in the blood & tissues.
- There are two types of phagocytes; neutrophils which are
granulocytes & make up 70% of the white
cells &macrophages which are
agranulocytes and make up about
4%.They accumulate at the site of
infection to attack invading pathogens.
Phagocytes can sometimes be seen as pus
which may ooze out of the wound or it may
be reabsorbed into the body.
INTERFERONS Group of chemicals producedwhen cells are invaded
by viruses. Interferons are proteins that inhibit viral replication within
the cells. They bind to receptors in the surface membranes on
uninfected cells, stimulating a pathway which makes the cells resistant
to infection by viruses by preventing viruses reproducing.
The immune system enables the body to recognise anything
that is non-self and to remove it from the body as efficiently as
possible. Each organism carries its own unique antigens or the
cell surface membrane. There are 2 main types of White
blood cells involved in the immune systems;
- Lymphocytes are agranulocytes, made in the white bone
- Macrophages are also agranulocytes which move freely
through the tissue after leaving the bloodstream


B Cells

T Cells
Killer Cells

Helper Cells

B cells
- are made in the bone
- found in lymph glands &
free in the body
- have membrane bound
globular receptor proteins
on their cell surface
membrane which are
identical to the antibodies
they will later produce
- all antibodies are known as
immunoglobulins (IgM)

T cells
- made in the bone marrow but mature and become active in
the thymus gland
- Surface of each T cell displays thousands of identical T-cell
receptors. There are 2 main types of T-cells; T killer cells
produce chemicals that destroy pathogens& T helper cells
involved in the process which produces antibodies against
the antigens on particular pathogen.
The working of these cells depend on special proteins
known as major histocompatibility complex (MHC)
proteins, which display antigens in the cell surface

- Bacteriostatic the antibiotic used completely inhibits the
growth or the microorganism
- Bactericidal the antibiotic used will destroy almost all of
the pathogens present


- Natural Active Immunity when the body comes into
contact with a foreign antigen and the immune system is
activated & antibodies are formed & the pathogen is
destroyed. The body actively makes the antibodies.
- Natural Passive Immunity during pregnancy, preformed
antibodies are passed from the mother to the foetus through
the placenta. The baby gets extra protection from antibodies
taken in through breast milk. This provides the baby with
temporary immunity until its own system becomes active.

- Immunisation is the process of protecting people from
infection by giving them passive or active artificial immunity.
- Vaccination is the procedure by which you immunise people
to produce immunity

Artificial Passive Immunity occurs when
antibodies are formed in one individual, extracted
& injected into another individual.
Artificial Active Immunity is when small
amounts of antigen (vaccine) are used to produce
immunity in a person

1. Studying The Ecology On An Area

- Techniques such as taking a transect can be
used to study the topography of an area the
shape, height & depth of the land surface.
- Quadrats can be used to give valid & reliable
measures of the numbers and types of plants.

- The animal communities can be investigated

by many methods, including quadrats, nets,
pitfall traps & taking soil samples.
- The abiotic factors which affect a habitat such
as rainfall & temperature & edaphic factors
such as soil type & pH are also measured &
recorded to give as much information as
possible about the ecology of the area.

2. Effect of temperature on a living

- It is possible to model the effect of increasing
temperature on the development of living
organism in the laboratory.
- There are many different experimental
procedures which can be used such as

germination of seeds, the growth rate of young

seedlings, or the hatching rate of brine
- The temperature differences for the
investigation need to be controlled very

3. Gel Electrophoresis
- Gene probes are short DNA sequences that are
complementary to specific sequences which
are being sought. Each probe is labelled, either
with a radioactive element or with a fluorescent

- Large amounts of the gene probes are added to

the filter and bind with complementary DNA
strands in a process known as hybridisation
- Excess probes are washed away & either X-ray
pictures are taken of the filter, or the filter is
placed under UV light to show up the DNA

4. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

- Amplifying the DNA
- Adapts the natural process in which DNA is
replicated in the cell, making it possible to

produce enough DNA for a profile from tiny

traces of biological material
Primers (small sequences of DNA which must
join to the beginning of the separated DNA
strands before copying can begin) & a good
supply of the four nucleotide bases are mixed
together in a PCR vial and placed in a PCR
The mixture is heated to 90-95C which causes
hydrogen bonds to break so DNA strands
The mixture is then cooled to 55-60C so the
primers bind to the single DNA strands
The mixture is then heated again to 75C which
is the optimum temperature for DNA
polymerase enzyme to build the
complementary strands of DNA.
The process is repeated about 30 times to give
approx. 1 billion copies of the DNA.

5. Effect Of Different Antibiotics On


- The effect of different antibiotics on bacteria

can be investigated using standard
microbiological techniques.
- An agar plate is seeded with a known bacterial
- Filter paper discs containing different
antibiotics, or different concentrations of the
same antibiotics, are placed in the agar & the
plate is sealed.
- A control culture of microorganisms with known
sensitivity to the antibiotic is grown at the
same time under the same conditions
- The level of inhibition of bacterial growth gives
a measure of the effectiveness of the drugs.