Cellular respiration is way to create ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is an energy source required by many organisms. This pathway involves converting organic compounds (food) and oxygen (aerobic respiration) into energy (ATP) and carbon dioxide, water as bi-products. Below is corresponding equation. Although Glucose is typically included in the equation as it oxidizes with greater ease than other organic compound, proteins and lipids may also be broken down to create ATP. Below is corresponding equation.
C6H12O6 + 6O2 è 6H2O + 6CO2 +ATP
The purpose of this experiment is to determine the metabolic rate and respiration quotient given a high or low protein diet. Metabolic Rate is the rate at which oxygen is consumed by an organism through cellular respiration. There is previous research that shows that the metabolic rate can be influenced by a spectrum of intrinsic and extrinsic factors; this could include body mass, temperature, digestion and environment oxygen (Norin and Clark, 2016). Respiratory quotient is the amount of CO2 lost over every molecule of oxygen that is consumed. It is expected that the values would be >1 , 1 and 0.7 for proteins, carbohydrates and lipids respectively. The equation for respiratory is as given below.
Respiratory Quotient = Moles of CO2 released per gram of tissue per hour
Moles of O2 consumed per gram of tissue per hour
It is hypothesized that the mealworms with the high protein diet will have a higher metabolic rate and well as a higher respiratory quotient, while meal worms feed a lower protein will have lower metabolic rate and respiratory quotient. Consumption of the higher protein food requires more energy (ATP) to digest than that of a lower protein.
Explaining an expected higher metabolic rate and respiratory quotient in the high protein group. A higher rate of oxygen consumption is required in order for cellular respiration to occur to generate more ATP, therefore ultimately yielding greater amount of carbon dioxide. This hypothesis is supported by an research article where energy consumption was higher in cats fed a high diet protein than their controlled which were feed lower quantities of proteins (Vasconcellos, R. S., Borges, N. C., Gonçalves, K. N. V., Canola, J. C., Paula, F. J. A. D., Malheiros, E. B., Brunetto, M. A. and Carciofi, A. C., 2009). A scholarly article, which reinforces this hypothesis, is a study where a diet with fat and other nutrients was unsuccessful in lowering the value of the respiratory quotient because of an increase in energy requirements as more fats are being stored for fuel (Toubro, S., Sorensen, T.I.A., Hindsberger, C., Christensen, N.J., Astrup, A. 1998).