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Basic Energy Concepts
Types of Catabolism
Catabolism of Fats
Catabolism of Proteins
Summary of Catabolism
©2000 Timothy Paustian, University of Wisconsin-Madison
From studying microbial growth and nutrition it is possible to determine what microbes can use as nutrients and what structures they make from those nutrients. But how do they convert those food sources to more cells? The intense study of microorganisms in the last 130 years has revealed many of the details about how they do business. In this section we take advantage of that body of knowledge and dive deep into the lower levels of metabolism to gain an understanding at the molecular level. We will learn how a cell takes nutrients from the environment and uses them to produce energy and reducing power. This stored energy is then put to work making various cell structures - membranes, cell walls, proteins and nucleic acids.
To start on the road to understanding metabolism, you first have to know what it means. So, some definitions.
Organization of this chapter
The discussion of metabolism begins with a review of some important thermodynamic and chemical concepts that guide how microbes (and all living things) do business. A short introduction into the important machinery in cellular processes comes next. Then, we look at catabolism discussing some "classic" pathways that are used by a large number of microorganisms. "Next fermentation" and respiration are touched upon during this discussion and some interesting examples of each are described. Bacterial Photosynthesis is briefly mentioned (there is a whole chapter devoted to just that) and we finish up with a section on Anabolism
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