Difference Between Primary Metabolites and Secondary Metabolites

The intermediate end products of the process of cellular metabolism catalyzed by different enzymes naturally occurring intravenously in cells are known as metabolites.

What Are Primary Metabolites?

The process of primary metabolism produces primary metabolites. These are the metabolites required for the maintenance and growth of cellular functions and hence are produced in the growth phase. It is initiated when the nutrients required are present in the medium for an organism to grow. Furthermore, primary metabolites are divided into Primary essential metabolites and primary metabolic end products

What Are Secondary Metabolites?

Secondary metabolites are those which are not required for the growth and maintenance of the cellular functions and are the resultant products of the process of primary metabolism. They are the organic compounds not directly involved in the normal growth, development or the process of reproduction of the organism.

Difference Between Primary Metabolites and Secondary Metabolites

Listed below are some of the important differences between Primary Metabolites and Secondary Metabolites

Primary Metabolites Secondary Metabolites
Definition
These are the products produced during the growth phase in the metabolism of organisms to carry out physiological functionalities thereby enabling the overall cell development of cells Upon completion of the growth phase, end products of primary metabolism are synthesized. These are necessary for the ecological and other cell activities
Phase at which it occurs
Growth phase Stationary phase
Other terms used to refer
Trophophase Idiophase
Quantity of production
Large quantities Small quantities
Extraction process
Easy Difficult
Occurrence
They produce the same products in every species They produce different products in every species
Applications
  • Widely used in industries for different purposes
  • Play a role in cell growth, development and reproduction
  • Supports the cell indirectly, thereby helps in sustaining life for longer
  • Economical importance
Some examples
Carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins Steroids, essential oils, phenolics, alkaloids

These were some differences between Primary and secondary metabolites. Explore differences for more concepts important for NEET 2020 at BYJU’S.

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