Saturday , October 24 2020

Difference between Synthesis and Biosynthesis

Difference between Synthesis and Biosynthesis is a basic question that arises when you studying the chemistry of natural products or Biochemistry. They are the processes of production of macromolecules such as lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, plastics, fiber, rubber, etc. from small molecules. Synthesis is an artificial process of the formation of macromolecules by small molecules. On the other hand, biosynthesis is the enzyme-catalyzed multi-step process of the formation of larger organic molecules from small molecules within a living organism.

The word ‘Synthesis’ comes via the Latin synthesis from the Greek ‘Sunthesis’, from ‘Suntithenai’ means ‘Place together, Combine’ [1]. While ‘Biosynthesis’ (Bio + Synthesis) consists of ‘Bio’ means ‘Life’ and ‘Synthesis’ means ‘Place together’ that means ‘synthesis of organic compounds within a living organism’. Let’s know the difference between Synthesis and Biosynthesis.

Synthesis vs Biosynthesis

Table of contents

  • Definition
  • Enzyme role
  • Nature of Process
  • Nature of Final products
  • Complexity
  • Location
  • Seasonal variation
  • Example
  • Summary of the difference between Synthesis and Biosynthesis
  1. Definition of Synthesis and Biosynthesis

Synthesis is the artificial process of the formation of large molecules from simpler molecules. Generally, in a synthesis, two or more elementary substances combine to form a more complex product: A + B → AB. While biosynthesis is an enzyme-catalyzed multi-step process within cells of living organisms by which substrates are modified or converted to more complex products. Biosynthesis also called anabolism [2]. In biosynthesis, small, simple elementary compounds are converted into other compounds, or modified, or combined to form large molecules (macromolecules).

  1. Enzyme role in Synthesis and Biosynthesis

Synthesis is not an enzyme-catalyzed process while biosynthesis is an enzyme-catalyzed process.

  1. Nature of Process 

Synthesis is an artificial and chemical process while biosynthesis is a natural / biological/ biochemical process.

  1. Nature of Final products

By synthesis organic or inorganic compounds may produce. While by biosynthesis organic compounds may produce.

  1. Complexity

Synthesis is either a simple or complex process. While biosynthesis is a multi-step and always a complex process. Substrates, Chemical energy such as ATP, enzymes, and Coenzymes, or Cofactors are required for biosynthesis.

  1. Location

Synthesis occurs outside living organisms. On the other hand, biosynthesis occurs within living organism.

  1. Seasonal variation

The pathway of synthesis does not indicate seasonal variation. The pathway of biosynthesis does indicate seasonal variation.

  1. Example of Synthesis and Biosynthesis

Examples of Synthesis include Paracetamol from phenol, Ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen and sodium chloride (NaCl) from sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl) etc.difference between Synthesis and Biosynthesis

On the other hand, examples of biosynthesis include the formation of amino acids, fatty acids, nucleic acid, and alkaloid.

Summary of the difference between Synthesis and Biosynthesis

Features Synthesis Biosynthesis
Definition Synthesis is the artificial process of the formation of large molecules from simpler molecules. Biosynthesis is an enzyme-catalyzed multi-step process within cells of living organisms by which substrates are modified or converted to more complex products.
Enzyme role Not an enzyme-catalyzed process An enzyme-catalyzed process
Nature of Process Artificial and chemical process Natural / biological/ biochemical process
Nature of Final products Organic or inorganic compounds yield from synthesis Mainly organic compounds yield from biosynthesis
Complexity Either simple or complex process Multi-step and always complex process
Location Occurs outside living organisms. Occurs within living organism
Seasonal variation This pathway does not indicate seasonal variation. This pathway does indicate seasonal variation.
Example Synthesis of Paracetamol from phenol, Ammonia from Nitrogen and Hydrogen and sodium chloride (NaCl) from sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl) etc. Formation of amino acids, fatty acids, Amino Acids, Nucleic acid, and Alkaloid.

The main difference between synthesis and biosynthesis is Synthesis is the artificial process of formation of large molecules from simpler molecules occurs outside the living organisms while Biosynthesis is an enzyme-catalyzed multi-step process within cells of living organisms by which substrates are modified or converted to more complex products.

Reference

  1. Synthesis, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2019. https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=synthesis
  2. Nelson, D. L., Cox, M. M., & Lehninger, A. L. (2017). Lehninger principles of biochemistry. Seventh edition, New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company.

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