Physiological Principles that Provide a Framework for Predicting Microbially Mediated Ecological Processes

Microorganisms require a continual supply of energy, such as ATP, to synthesize cellular building blocks (e.g., DNA, proteins, lipids), to maintain cellular integrity, to move, to divide, and to reproduce, etc. This energy must be derived from the environment outside the microorganism. The science that explores the mechanisms involved in energy trapping and transformation is known as bioenergetics. Two sources of energy can be tapped by microorganisms: light energy (from the sun; via photosynthesis) and chemical energy from thermodyna-mically favorable oxidation-reduction reactions (via chemosynthesis).

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