Microcheck 111

Methanogens are archaea that oxidize hydrogen gas, using CO2 as a terminal electron acceptor, to generate methane. The sulfur- and sulfate-reducing bacteria oxidize organic compounds, with sulfur compounds serving as terminal electron acceptors, to generate hydrogen sulfide. Clostridium species, the lactic acid bacteria, and Propionibacterium species oxidize organic compounds, with an organic compound serving as a terminal electron acceptor.

■ What metabolic process creates the rotten-egg smell characteristic of many anaerobic environments?

■ Describe two beneficial contributions of the lactic acid bacteria.

■ Relatively little is known about many obligate anaerobes. Why would this be so?

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