Bacterial Physiology and Metabolism

Bacterial Physiology and Metabolism
Byung Hong Kim, Geoffrey Michael Gadd
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release at: 2008
Pages: 553
First Edition
File Size: 25 MB
File Type: pdf
Language: English

Description of Bacterial Physiology and Metabolism

Knowledge of the physiology and metabolism of prokaryotes underpins our understanding of the roles and activities of these organisms in the environment, including pathogenic and symbiotic relationships, as well as their exploitation in biotechnology. Prokaryotic organisms include bacteria and archaea and, although remaining relatively small and simple in structure throughout their evolutionary history, exhibit incredible diversity regarding their metabolism and physiology. 

Such metabolic diversity is reflective of the wide range of habitats where prokaryotes can thrive and in many cases dominate the biota and is a distinguishing contrast with eukaryotes that exhibit a more restricted metabolic versatility. Thus, prokaryotes can be found almost everywhere under a wide range of physical and chemical conditions, including aerobic to anaerobic, light and dark, low to high pressure, low to high salt concentrations, extremes of acidity and alkalinity, and extremes of nutrient availability. 

Some physiologies, e.g. lithotripsy and nitrogen fixation, are only found in certain groups of prokaryotes, while the use of inorganic compounds, such as nitrate and sulfate, as electron acceptors in respiration, is another prokaryotic ability. The knowledge explosion resulting from the development and application of molecular biology to microbial systems has perhaps led to a reduced emphasis on their physiology and biochemistry, yet paradoxically has an understanding of metabolic processes and enabled further detailed analysis. Almost in a reflection of the bacterial growth pattern, the number of scientific papers has grown at an exponential rate, while the number of prokaryotic genome sequences determined is also increasing rapidly. 

This production of genomes sequences for a wide range of organisms has made an in-depth knowledge of prokaryotic metabolic function even more essential in order to give biochemical, physiological and ecological meaning to the genomic information. Our objective in writing this new textbook was to provide a thorough survey of the prokaryotic metabolic diversity that occurs under different conditions and in different environments, emphasizing the key biochemical mechanisms involved. We believe that this approach provides a useful overview of the key cellular processes that determine bacterial and archaeal roles in the environment, biotechnology, and human health.

We concentrate on bacteria and archaea but, where appropriate, also provide comparisons with eukaryotic organisms. It should be noted that many important metabolic pathways found in prokaryotes also occur in eukaryotes further emphasizing prokaryotic importance as research models in providing knowledge of relevance to eukaryotic processes.

This Bacterial Physiology and Metabolism book can be considered in three main parts. In the first part, prokaryotic structure and composition are described as well as the means by which nutrients are transported into cells across membranes. Discussion of biosynthesis and growth is followed by detailed accounts of glucose metabolism through glycolysis, the TCA cycle, electron transport, and oxidative phosphorylation, largely based on the model bacterium Escherichia coli. The trophic variations found in prokaryotes are described, including the use of organic compounds other than glucose, anaerobic fermentation, anaerobic respiration, chemolithotrophy, and photosynthesis describe In the second part.

In the third part, the regulation of metabolism through control of gene expression and enzyme activity is covered, as well as the survival mechanisms used by prokaryotes under starvation conditions. This text is relevant to advance undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as being of use to teachers and researchers in microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, and related disciplines.

Content of Bacterial Physiology and Metabolism

1 Introduction to bacterial physiology and metabolism page 1

2 Composition and structure of prokaryotic cells 7

3 Membrane transport – nutrient uptake and protein excretion 35

4 Glycolysis 60

5 Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation 85

6 Biosynthesis and microbial growth. 126

7 Heterotrophic metabolism on substrates other than glucose 202

8 Anaerobic fermentation 252

9 Anaerobic respiration 298

10 Chemolithotrophy 354

11 Photosynthesis 386

12 Metabolic regulation 408

13 Energy, environment and microbial survival 482

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