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Cells and Cell Cycles to Study for the AP Biology Exam

By Peter J. Mikulecky, Michelle Rose Gilman, Brian Peterson

Part of AP Biology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

As you’re studying for the AP Biology exam, keep these facts about cells and cell cycles close at hand and review them often. You never know, you may end up memorizing them all, which will help you ace the test!

  • Prokaryotes lack membrane-bound organelles, are single-celled, and usually have cell walls. Eukaryotes have membrane-bound organelles, can be single- or multicellular, and have cell walls only in special cases like plants and fungi.

  • Cell membranes are selectively permeable. Transport across membranes can be passive (diffusion) or active (requires an input of energy).

  • Chloroplasts perform photosynthesis: Light (energy) + 6 H2O + 6 CO2 → C6H12O6 + 6 O2

  • Mitochondria perform cellular respiration: C6H12O6 + 6 O2 → 6 H2O + 6 CO2 + energy

  • Aerobic respiration yields 36 ATPs per molecule of glucose. Anaerobic respiration yields 2 ATPs per molecule of glucose.

  • Interphase consists of G1, S, and G2 phases (growth 1, synthesis, and growth 2). M phase consists of mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase) and cytokinesis. Mitosis results in the division of a parent cell into two genetically identical daughter cells.

  • Meiosis consists of meiosis I and meiosis II. Crossing over occurs during prophase I. Independent assortment occurs during metaphase I. During meiosis I, cells move from diploid to haploid states. Meiosis results in the division of a single parent cell into four haploid cells that will become gametes.