Class 11 Biology Respiration In Plants Respiratory quotient

Respiratory quotient

  • The ratio of the volume of CO2 evolved to the volume of O2 consumed in respiration is called the respiratory quotient (RQ) or respiratory ratio.

RQ = Volume of CO2 evolved / volume of O2  utilized

  • The respiratory quotient depends upon the type of respiratory substrate used during respiration.
  • When carbohydrates are used as substrate and are completely oxidised, the RQ will be 1, because equal amounts of CO2 and O2 are evolved and consumed, respectively.

C6H1206 + 6O2 à 6CO2 + 6H2O + energy

RQ = 6/6 = 1

  • When fats are used in respiration, the RQ is less than 1. Calculations for a fatty acid, tripalmitin, if used as a substrate is shown:

2C51H98 O6 + 145O2 à 102 CO2 + 98H20 + energy

RQ = 102/145 = 0.4

  • When proteins are respiratory substrates the ratio would be about 0.9.
  • Pure proteins or fats are never used as respiratory substrates.



Fig. Respiratory quotient

Share these Notes with your friends  

< Prev Next >

You can check our 5-step learning process