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Encyclopedia > Chemolithotroph

A lithotroph is an organism which uses an inorganic substrate (usually of mineral origin) to obtain energy. Lithoautotrophs are exclusively microbes; macrofauna do not possess the capability to utilize inorganic compounds as energy sources. Most lithoautotrophs belong to the domain Bacteria. The term "Lithotroph" is created from the terms 'lithos' (rock) and 'troph' (consumer); literally, it may be read "eaters of rock." Many lithoautotrophs are extremophiles, but this is not universally so. In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a living complex adaptive system of organs that influence each other in such a way that they function as a more or less stable whole. ... Inorganic chemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with the properties and reactions of inorganic compounds. ... Subgroups Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... An extremophile is an organism, usually unicellular, which thrives in or requires extreme conditions. ...


Lithotrophs consume reduced compounds (rich in electrons). The compounds - the electron donors - are broken up in the cell, and the electrons are channeled into producing ATP. The electron acceptor can be oxygen (in aerobic bacteria), but a variety of other electron acceptors, organic and inorganic, are also used by various species. Reduction or reducing has several meanings: In mathematics, reduction is the process of manipulating a series of equations or matrices into a desired simpler format. ... A chemical compound is a chemical substance formed from two or more elements, with a fixed ratio determining the composition. ... Properties The electron is a lightweight fundamental subatomic particle that carries a negative electric charge. ... Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green). ... Adenosine 5-triphosphate (ATP) is a multifunctional nucleotide primarily known in biochemistry as the molecular currency of intracellular energy transfer. ... General Name, Symbol, Number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series Nonmetals, chalcogens Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 15. ... Look up Aerobic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Benzene An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon, with the exception of carbides, carbonates, carbon oxides and elementary carbon. ... In biology, a species is the basic unit of biodiversity. ...


Lithoautotrophs participate in many geological processes, such as the weathering of parent material (bedrock) to form soil, as well as biogeochemical cycling of sulfur, potassium, and other elements. They may be present in the deep terrestrial subsurface (they have been found well over a 3km below the surface of the planet), in soils, and in endolith communities. As they are responsible for the liberation of many crucial nutrients, and participate in the formation of soil, lithoautotrophs play a crucial role in the maintainence of life on Earth. The field of biogeochemistry involves scientific study of the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment (including the biosphere, the hydrosphere, the pedosphere, the atmosphere, and the lithosphere), and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earths chemical... General Name, Symbol, Number sulfur, S, 16 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16, 3, p Appearance lemon yellow Atomic mass 32. ... General Name, Symbol, Number potassium, K, 19 Chemical series alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1, 4, s Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 39. ... A chemical element, often called simply element, is a chemical substance that cannot be decomposed or transformed into other chemical substances by ordinary chemical methods. ... An endolith or cryptoendolith is an organism (archaea, bacterium, or fungus) that lives inside rock, coral, animal shells, or in the pores between mineral grains. ...


Lithoautotrophic microbial consortia are responsible for the phenomenon known as acid mine drainage, whereby energy-rich pyrites and other reduced sulfur compounds present in mine tailing heaps and in exposed rock faces is metabolized to form sulfites, which form potentially toxic sulfuric acid when dissolved in water. Acid mine drainage drastically alters the acidity and chemistry of groundwater and streams, and may endanger plant and animal populations. Activity similar to acid mine drainage, but on a much lower scale, is also found in natural conditions such as the rocky beds of glaciers, in soil and talus, and in the deep subsurface. Acid mine drainage (AMD), also called acid rock water or acid rock drainage (ARD), refers to the outflow of acidic water from (usually) abandoned metal mines or coal mines. ...


Here are a few examples of lithotrophic pathways, all of which may use oxygen as electron acceptor:

In the following example, a compound other than oxygen is used as electron acceptor: The most fundamental reactions in chemistry are the redox processes. ... Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. ... // Definition The nitrite ion is NO2−. A nitrite compound is one that contains this group, either an ionic compound, or an analogous covalent one. ... In inorganic chemistry, a nitrate is a salt of nitric acid. ... The term sulfide (sulphide in British) refers to several types of chemical compounds containing sulfur in its lowest oxidation number of -2. ... General Name, Symbol, Number sulfur, S, 16 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16, 3, p Appearance lemon yellow Atomic mass 32. ... In inorganic chemistry, a sulfate (IUPAC-recommended spelling; also sulphate in British English) is a salt of sulfuric acid. ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ... Water (from the Old English waeter; c. ...

  • Phosphite bacteria oxidize phosphite into phosphate. They use sulfate as electron acceptor, and reduce it into sulfide.

Lithotrophic bacteria cannot use, of course, their inorganic energy source as a carbon source for the synthesis of their cells, because the above-mentioned electron donors contain no carbon. They choose one of two options: The phosphite ion is a polyatomic ion with phosphorus as its central atom. ... In inorganic chemistry, a phosphate is a salt of phosphoric acid. ... General Name, Symbol, Number carbon, C, 6 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 14, 2, p Appearance black (graphite) colorless (diamond) Atomic mass 12. ...

  • Heterolithotrophs must consume additional organic compounds in order to break them apart and use their carbon. Only few bacteria are heterolithotrophic.
  • Autolithotrophs are able to use carbon dioxide from the air as carbon source, the same way plants do. (also known as lithoautotrophs.)

In addition to this division, lithotrophs also differ in the initial energy source which initiates ATP production: Carbon dioxide is an atmospheric gas comprised of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. ... Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Divisions Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants Adiantum pedatum (a fern...

  • Chemolithotrophs use the above-mentioned inorganic compounds. The energy produced by the oxidation of these compounds is enough for ATP production.
  • Photolithotrophs use light. These bacteria are photosynthetic; the almost only photolithotrophic bacteria are purple bacteria. The energy obtained from oxidation reactions (they oxidize sulfide, sulfite, iron or hydrogen) is not enough for ATP production; the rest of the energy comes from light.

The opposite of lithotroph is organotroph - an organism which gets its energy from the break up of organic compounds. Prism splitting light Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength. ... The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ... Purple bacteria are proteobacteria that are phototrophic, i. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ...


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