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Glycolysis vs. Krebs Cycle: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 17, 2023
Glycolysis is the metabolic pathway breaking glucose into pyruvate; the Krebs cycle processes acetyl-CoA to produce ATP, CO₂, and NADH.

Key Differences

Glycolysis is the initial step of glucose metabolism, wherein glucose is broken down into pyruvate. The Krebs cycle, on the other hand, is a series of reactions that occur in the mitochondria and produce ATP, NADH, and CO₂. Both pathways are central to cellular respiration, but they function at different stages and locations.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
Glycolysis takes place in the cytoplasm of the cell, converting one molecule of glucose into two molecules of pyruvate. The Krebs cycle, however, operates within the mitochondria, oxidizing acetyl-CoA derived from pyruvate, fats, and amino acids, to generate energy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
In glycolysis, the net gain is two ATP molecules and two NADH molecules for each glucose. The Krebs cycle yields more energy: one ATP, three NADH, and one FADH₂ per acetyl-CoA.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
The importance of glycolysis is evident in that it can occur under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The Krebs cycle, however, strictly requires oxygen, as it's an aerobic process.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023
Both glycolysis and the Krebs cycle are interconnected. Pyruvate from glycolysis is transported into the mitochondria and is decarboxylated to form acetyl-CoA, which then enters the Krebs cycle.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Location

Occurs in the cytoplasm.
Takes place within the mitochondria.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Starting Molecule

Begins with glucose.
Begins with acetyl-CoA.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Products

Produces pyruvate, 2 ATP, and 2 NADH.
Produces 2 CO₂, 3 NADH, 1 FADH₂, and 1 ATP per cycle.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Oxygen Requirement

Can occur under both aerobic and anaerobic.
Strictly aerobic.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Relation to Other

Initial step in glucose metabolism.
Follows glycolysis; processes pyruvate to acetyl-CoA.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
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Glycolysis and Krebs Cycle Definitions

Glycolysis

The breakdown of glucose to pyruvate.
The cell gains energy through glycolysis by converting glucose to pyruvate.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 17, 2023

Krebs Cycle

A major pathway in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
Fats and amino acids can also enter the Krebs cycle after being converted to acetyl-CoA.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

Glycolysis

A metabolic pathway occurring in the cytoplasm.
Glycolysis plays a crucial role in providing energy in the absence of oxygen.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Krebs Cycle

A series of chemical reactions used by cells to produce energy.
The Krebs cycle is essential for the complete oxidation of glucose.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 17, 2023

Glycolysis

The anaerobic conversion of glucose.
In the absence of oxygen, cells use glycolysis to generate ATP.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Krebs Cycle

An aerobic process occurring in mitochondria.
Oxygen is a prerequisite for the Krebs cycle to function effectively.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Glycolysis

The precursor pathway to the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.
Pyruvate generated from glycolysis is further processed in the Krebs cycle.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

Krebs Cycle

The cycle that oxidizes acetyl-CoA to CO₂ and H₂O.
The Krebs cycle generates ATP, NADH, and FADH₂ as energy carriers.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Glycolysis

A ten-step process producing ATP and NADH.
During vigorous exercise, muscles primarily rely on glycolysis for energy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Krebs Cycle

A central component of cellular respiration.
After glycolysis, the Krebs cycle is the next step in glucose oxidation.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Glycolysis

A metabolic process that occurs in nearly all living cells in which glucose is converted in a series of steps to pyruvic acid and during which energy is released in the form of ATP.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 16, 2017

Glycolysis

(biochemistry) The cellular degradation of the simple sugar glucose to yield pyruvic acid, and ATP as an energy source
Sumera Saeed
Mar 16, 2017

Glycolysis

A metabolic process that breaks down carbohydrates and sugars through a series of reactions to either pyruvic acid or lactic acid and release energy for the body in the form of ATP
Sumera Saeed
Mar 16, 2017

FAQs

How is glycolysis related to the Krebs cycle?

Pyruvate from glycolysis is processed to form acetyl-CoA, which enters the Krebs cycle.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

What is the main product of glycolysis?

The main product of glycolysis is pyruvate.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Where does glycolysis occur?

Glycolysis occurs in the cytoplasm of the cell.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 17, 2023

What is glycolysis?

Glycolysis is the metabolic pathway that breaks glucose into pyruvate.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Can glycolysis function without oxygen?

Yes, glycolysis can function both aerobically and anaerobically.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Where does the Krebs cycle take place?

The Krebs cycle occurs in the mitochondria.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

How many ATP molecules does glycolysis produce?

Glycolysis produces a net gain of two ATP molecules.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

What happens to the pyruvate produced in glycolysis?

Pyruvate is transported to the mitochondria and processed to acetyl-CoA for the Krebs cycle.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Which produces more ATP, glycolysis or the Krebs cycle?

While glycolysis produces 2 ATPs, the Krebs cycle and subsequent oxidative phosphorylation produce a greater amount of ATP.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

What molecules can feed into the Krebs cycle?

Acetyl-CoA derived from carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids can feed into the Krebs cycle.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Why is glycolysis considered anaerobic?

Because it can function without the presence of oxygen.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

What is the Krebs cycle?

The Krebs cycle is a series of reactions that produce ATP, CO₂, and NADH from acetyl-CoA.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

How are glycolysis and the Krebs cycle interconnected?

Pyruvate from glycolysis is transformed into acetyl-CoA, which enters the Krebs cycle.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

How does the Krebs cycle begin?

The Krebs cycle begins with the combination of acetyl-CoA with oxaloacetate.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

How is the energy produced in the Krebs cycle stored?

The energy is stored in molecules like ATP, NADH, and FADH₂.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

What is the main purpose of the Krebs cycle?

The main purpose is to generate energy carriers like ATP, NADH, and FADH₂.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Are both glycolysis and the Krebs cycle parts of cellular respiration?

Yes, both processes are integral parts of cellular respiration.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Does the Krebs cycle require oxygen?

Yes, the Krebs cycle is an aerobic process and requires oxygen.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Can the Krebs cycle operate without glycolysis?

While the Krebs cycle can process other molecules, glycolysis provides a significant input through pyruvate.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Is the Krebs cycle also known by another name?

Yes, it's also called the citric acid cycle or the TCA cycle.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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