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Table 1.
Summary of published common student misconceptions in cellular respiration and photosynthesis.
Cellular respiration misconceptions 
Matter is converted to energy or ATP during cellular respiration (glucose to ATP); Wilson et al., 2006, Hartley et al., 2011. 
Matter catabolized during cellular respiration is released as waste, such as urine or feces; Wilson et al., 2006. 
Cells can utilize glucose only to generate ATP; Oliviera et al., 2003. 
Photosynthesis misconceptions 
Mass gain observed during plant growth results from water uptake; Wilson et al., 2006. 
Mass gain observed during plant growth results from nutrient uptake; Wilson et al., 2006. 
CO2 is not responsible for mass gain observed during plant growth; Parker et al., 2012. 
Matter (CO2) is converted to ATP; Parker et al., 2012, Hartley et al., 2011. 
Sunlight is converted to matter (energy to sugars); Parker et al., 2012, Hartley et al., 2011. 
ATP generated in photosynthesis is used for cellular work; Parker et al., 2012. 
Autotrophs do not conduct cellular respiration; Wilson et al., 2006, Parker et al., 2012. 
Cellular respiration misconceptions 
Matter is converted to energy or ATP during cellular respiration (glucose to ATP); Wilson et al., 2006, Hartley et al., 2011. 
Matter catabolized during cellular respiration is released as waste, such as urine or feces; Wilson et al., 2006. 
Cells can utilize glucose only to generate ATP; Oliviera et al., 2003. 
Photosynthesis misconceptions 
Mass gain observed during plant growth results from water uptake; Wilson et al., 2006. 
Mass gain observed during plant growth results from nutrient uptake; Wilson et al., 2006. 
CO2 is not responsible for mass gain observed during plant growth; Parker et al., 2012. 
Matter (CO2) is converted to ATP; Parker et al., 2012, Hartley et al., 2011. 
Sunlight is converted to matter (energy to sugars); Parker et al., 2012, Hartley et al., 2011. 
ATP generated in photosynthesis is used for cellular work; Parker et al., 2012. 
Autotrophs do not conduct cellular respiration; Wilson et al., 2006, Parker et al., 2012. 
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