Microorganism Week 2 Reading

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What process reduces CO2 to generate complex, organic cell constituents?

Autotrophy

Which type of microorganisms can use both organotrophy and autotrophy to gain carbon?

Mixotrophs

What do chemoorganoheterotrophs obtain energy and carbon for biomass from?

Organic compounds

What role do cyanobacteria play in the Earth's marine food chain?

They fix carbon and form the base of the food chain

Which metabolic process involves obtaining energy from the catabolism of organic compounds and through light absorption?

Photoorganotrophy

What does the suffix "-trophy" refer to in biology?

Acquisition of nutrients

What is the electron source in organo-trophy?

Organic molecules donate electrons

How is energy stored in the form of an electrical potential across the membrane known?

Membrane potential

What do nitrogen-fixing bacteria convert nitrogen gas (N2) into?

Ammonium ions (NH4+)

Which process uses nitrate and related inorganic forms of nitrogen as terminal electron acceptors for certain electron transport chains?

Denitrification

What are the six macronutrients required by microorganisms?

Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur

What is the recycling process that involves two counterbalancing kinds of metabolism?

The carbon cycle

What is the role of micronutrients in cells?

They are essential components of enzymes or cofactors

What is the main difference between heterotrophy and autotrophy?

Heterotrophy breaks down multicarbon nutrients to carbon dioxide, while autotrophy reassembles CO2 molecules into multicarbon nutrients

What is the function of cations in microorganisms?

They serve as cofactors for specific enzymes or act as regulatory signaling molecules

What is the term for environments that lack oxygen?

Anaerobic

What is the class of anaerobes that can grow with or without molecular oxygen?

Facultative anaerobes

What is the process called when microbes gain energy only through fermenting carbohydrates in an oxygen-free environment?

Fermentation

What is the term for the membrane proteins and lipids used by some microbes to extract intrinsic energy from electrons?

Electron transport system

What is the term for the process involving the movement of electrons along an ETS and the generation of proton motive force if the electron donor is from an organic source?

Respiration

What differentiates facultative anaerobes from aerotolerant anaerobes?

Facultative anaerobes can grow with or without oxygen and have both fermentation and respiratory potential, while aerotolerant anaerobes use only fermentation to provide energy

What allows aerotolerant anaerobes to grow in air (containing oxygen) while retaining fermentation-based metabolism?

Contain superoxide dismutase and catalase (or peroxidase) to protect them from ROS

What is the primary benefit of oxygen for aerobes?

It serves as a terminal electron acceptor to extract energy from nutrients

Why do some microorganisms become microaerophilic?

As a result of possessing decreased levels of superoxide dismutase and/or catalase

What is the process of breaking down complex food into small molecules that can be digested called?

Catabolism

What is the main role of our gut microbiome in relation to the food we eat?

To break down complex foods into small molecules

Why do many of our gut microbes use enzymes that our bodies don't have?

To catabolize food molecules more efficiently

What is the term for obtaining energy from inorganic reactions?

Lithotrophy

Which type of microorganisms can use light absorption to gain energy and build biomass solely from CO2?

Photoautotrophs

What is the term for the process of obtaining energy from electron transfer between chemicals?

Chemotrophy

Which metabolic process involves obtaining energy from the catabolism of organic compounds and through light absorption?

Chemoorganotrophy

What is the term for microorganisms that use preformed organic compounds for biosynthesis?

Heterotrophs

What is the term for the process that involves obtaining energy from the catabolism of organic compounds and through light absorption?

Photosynthesis

What do exothermic reactions release?

Heat

What determines how much energy is potentially available to do work in a biochemical reaction?

DeltaG

What is the term for environments that lack oxygen?

Anaerobic

What is the electron source in organotrophy?

Organic molecules

What is the main role of lignin in trees and woody plants?

Structural support

What is the main difference between fermentation and respiration?

Fermentation breaks down large molecules into smaller products, while respiration transfers electrons to an electron acceptor

Which of the following can human enzymes digest?

Starch

What is the process by which carbohydrates are broken down to monosaccharides?

Hydrolysis

What happens to the electrons removed from food in the process of respiration?

They are transferred to an inorganic electron acceptor

During mixed-acid fermentation, what is favored at low pH?

Ethanol and lactate

Which molecule serves as the 'lego block' of metabolism?

Acetyl-CoA

What is the key component of metabolism in bacteria and mitochondria, directing sugar catabolism into respiration?

Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC)

Which process removes CO2 from pyruvate, generating acetyl-CoA?

The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle

Which pathway produces 2 ATP and 2 NADH from glucose breakdown?

Embsen-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway

What term is used for organisms that are capable of utilizing light to generate ATP, but also incorporate preformed organic compounds for biosynthesis?

Photoheterotrophs

What metabolic process involves the capture of light by chlorophyll or another photopigment?

Phototorphy

What is the term for metabolism in which chemical electron donors yield energy through an Electron Transport Chain (ETC)?

Respiration

Which term describes the reduction of oxidized forms of nitrogen for energy yields?

Dissimilatory denitrification

What is the primary electron acceptor in anaerobic respiration?

Metal cations

What is the main difference between dissimilatory denitrification and assimilatory reduction of nitrate?

The end product of the process

What is the process called when hydrogen is used as an electron donor and carbon dioxide is reduced to methane?

Methanogenesis

What is the term for the process of oxidation of inorganic electron donors to acquire energy?

Lithotrophy

Which group of microorganisms specifically oxidizes methane, nitrite, or sulfate to gain energy from single-carbon compounds?

Methanotrophs

What is the process called when microorganisms obtain carbon skeletons by CO2 fixation or by breaking down compounds formed by other organisms?

Autotrophy

What must the organism's genome maintain in order to support biosynthesis?

DNA encoding all the enzymes that catalyze biosynthetic pathways

How do microbes regulate their biosynthesis at the levels of transcription and translation of enzymes?

By controlling the relative investment in energy yielding reactions versus energy-spending reactions

Where is the full Calvin cycle found?

In bacteria and chloroplasts

Which organisms are believed to generate the majority of the oxygen gas in Earth's atmosphere?

Cyanobacteria

How do facultatively anaerobic purple bacteria, including sulfur oxidizers and photoheterotrophs, obtain carbon?

Through the Calvin cycle

Test your knowledge on the essential nutrients required by microorganisms and the role of macronutrients in microbial growth and metabolism.

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