Aerobic organism

An aerobic organism or aerobe is an organism that can survive and grow in an oxygenated environment.[1] In contrast, an anaerobic organism (anaerobe) is any organism that does not require oxygen for growth. Some anaerobes react negatively or even die if oxygen is present.[2]


When an organism is able to survive in both oxygen and anaerobic environments, the use of the Pasteur effect can distinguish between facultative anaerobes and aerotolerant organisms. If the organism is using fermentation in an anaerobic environment, the addition of oxygen will cause facultative anaerobes to suspend fermentation and begin using oxygen for respiration. Aerotolerant organisms must continue fermentation in the presence of oxygen. Falcultative organisms grow in both oxygen rich media and oxygen free media


A good example is the oxidation of glucose (a monosaccharide) in aerobic respiration.

C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 38 ADP + 38 phosphate → 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + 38 ATP

Oxygen is used during the oxidation of glucose and water is produced.[2]

This equation is a summary of what happens in three series of biochemical reactions: glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation.

See also


  1. "aerobe" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. Hentges DJ (1996). "17: Anaerobes:General Characteristics". In Baron S (ed.). Medical Microbiology (4 ed.). Galveston, Texas: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  3. Kenneth Todar. "Nutrition and Growth of Bacteria". Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology. p. 4. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
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