Physics Of Microbiology For Scientists

954 Words Oct 27th, 2015 4 Pages
It is common in the field of microbiology for scientist to need to quantify bacteria. A way to do this is via the production of CO2. Carbon dioxide can be produced as a byproduct of cells performing regular respiration and decomposition activities. For microbes to live and grow successfully they need an adequate source of carbon. The microbes can either produce this source themselves making them autotrophic or receive the carbon from and outside source making them heterotrophic. Without a proper carbon source microbes like bacteria would not be able to function properly and produce several vital components for life including lipids, DNA, sugar, and proteins. All carbon sources are not created equally, not all of them can be used in the same chemical pathway. Glycolysis requires the use of glucose whereas the citric acid cycle can use citrate directly. Lactose is an extremely complex sugar and must be broken down a number of times before it is usable in the process of glycolysis. Succinate and acetate just like citrate can enter directly in to the citric acid cycle or it can also be converted into Acetyl-CoA. Due to the nature of these cycles and how the carbon gets broken down some carbon sources are naturally better than others. Glucose is the best theoretical source with the ability to produce around four CO2 molecules. The second best would be lactose that could produce the same amount of carbon dioxide but at a slower rate. This is followed by citrate which…

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