Unit 2: Microbial Metabolism
Cellular metabolism is the collection of all chemical reaction that takes place in the cell. You have already studied cellular metabolism in BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology. Take some time to review the cellular metabolism units in these courses before you dive into this unit. In this unit, you will study specifics of microbial metabolism; the most detailed subunit belongs to bacteria. The metabolism in all domains is very divergent; Archaea and Protista are the most divergent. We know most about pathogenic bacteria, because they have medical significance.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- discuss cellular metabolism, enzyme function, and regulation;
- compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic metabolism;
- recognize differences between bacterial and archaeal metabolism;
- recognize molecular processes in various protist taxa; and
- compare and contrast protists and fungi.
2.1: Cellular Metabolism
Read this page for a general overview of enzymes and enzyme activity.
Read this page for a brief review of cell metabolism.
Complete the following problem sets: "Features of Enzyme Catalyzed Reactions," "An Energy Barrier Separating Reactions and Products in a Chemical Reaction," "Enzyme Features," and "Understanding Activation Energy." These are multiple-choice assessments. Choosing an option will bring you to a page with an explanation. Read the explanation, if any, and then return to the multiple-choice assessment.
2.2: Bacterial Metabolism
Read this page. Compare and contrast the general cellular metabolism to bacterial metabolism.
Complete this ungraded assessment. Aerobic and anaerobic respiration has been observed within the Kingdom of Bacteria as well.
2.3: Archaea Metabolism
Read this page for an example of characteristic archaeal metabolic adaptations. Thermophile species are present in all four Archaea taxa (Korarcheotes, Euryarcheotes, Crenarcheotes, and Nanoarcheotes). In general, Archaea shares characteristics both with Eukarya (e.g. the initiator tRNA and introns) and with Bacteria (e.g. 70S ribosomes), but Archaea have unique molecular features as well (e.g. cell wall structure and branched membrane lipid hydrocarbones).
2.4: The Metabolism of Protists
Read this page. Most eukaryotes are protists. Protista is a diverse domain, reflected by organellar diversity.
2.5: Fungal Metabolism
Read this chapter. Fungi are decomposers. Compare and contrast the general cellular metabolism to fungal metabolism.