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Asked Oct 8, 2019
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how do microbes process oxygen?

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Step 1

Microbes are small microscopic organisms that are found in different habitats. The common microorganisms are fungi bacteria, algae, viruses, protozoa, and archaea. Microorganisms play a major role in decay, decomposition, and digestion of food in animals. Some microorganisms negatively impact humans such as disease-causing microorganisms, some cause damage to food products.

Step 2

Microorganisms consume oxygen from the environment by the process of respiration to produce energy. Processes like decaying of organic matter by microorganisms like bacteria and fungi use oxygen. The decomposition process is attained by several different species of fungi and bacteria. Some microorganisms also release oxygen to the environment.

The most common microorganism is bacteria. Some bacteria use oxygen for respiration and energy production. Oxygen is also the final acceptor of electrons in the electron transport chain. Oxygen is reactive and forms toxic compounds like hydrogen peroxide and superoxide, bacteria detoxify these compounds with the help of enzyme catalase and superoxide dismutase and use oxygen for various metabolic processes.

Step 3

Another example of bacteria is cyanobacteria (algae). The oxygen cycle in microorganisms operates at a smaller level. For example, the stratification of microbial life in water is due to oxygen concentration. Oxygen does not dissolve in water thus atmospheric oxygen enters slowly in the water bodies.

Cyanobacteria (oxygen producers) are in the uppermost area of a water body due to an abundance of sunlight. Cyanobacteria produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. These organisms use dissolv...

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