Q:

How does bacteria obtain energy?

A:

Quick Answer

Bacteria obtain energy by either ingesting other organisms and organic compounds or by producing their own food. The bacteria that produce their own food are called autotrophs. Bacteria that must consume other organic molecules for energy are called heterotrophs.

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Full Answer

There are two general types of heterotrophs. Some heterotrophs supply all of their energetic needs by dissolving and absorbing or ingesting other organisms, and are called chemotrophic heterotrophs. By contrast, some bacteria produce some of their own energy by harnessing sunlight, but make up the balance of their energy needs by absorbing organic molecules.

Autotrophs also occur in two primary types. There are chemotrophic autotrophs, which absorb inorganic molecules, such as sulfides, and convert them to energy, as well as phototrophic autotrophs that produce their own energy by absorbing sunlight. As a whole, bacteria obtain their energy in a variety of ways, enabling some type of bacteria to live almost everywhere.

Aside from these four groups of bacteria that obtain energy in different ways, bacteria respire in different ways as well. Many organisms are aerobic, and rely on oxygen, just as animals do. Other bacteria are anaerobic, meaning that they live in an environment without oxygen. Still other bacteria can live in either oxygen-rich or oxygen-depleted environments. These flexible bacteria are called facultative anaerobes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the difference between autotrophic and heterotrophic?

    A:

    The main difference between autotrophic organisms and heterotrophic organisms is that the former produce their own food, while the latter rely on other organisms for food. Autotrophs create nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic sources like carbon dioxide. Heterotrophs cannot produce organic compounds from inorganic substances.

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  • Q:

    How are animals and plants different in getting their food?

    A:

    Plants produce their own food, while animals must eat other organisms to survive. Plants make their own food via the process of photosynthesis, which involves using the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugar.

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  • Q:

    How does bacteria make food?

    A:

    Bacteria that make their own food are known as autotrophs or producers, and they do this through the process of photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. Most autotrophs use the process of photosynthesis, which usually involves converting carbon dioxide and water into glucose using the sun?s energy.

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  • Q:

    Why doesn't a negative stain colorize the cells in the smear?

    A:

    Negative stains don't colorize cells because the cell wall of the bacteria repels the dye. The dyes used for negative stains are acidic and do not penetrate the negatively charged cell walls. Because of this, only the background of the slide will be colored.

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