Facultative anaerobic organism

A facultative anaerobe is an organism that makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present, but is capable of switching to fermentation if oxygen is absent.

Some examples of facultatively anaerobic bacteria are Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp.,[1] Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria spp.[2], Shewanella oneidensis and Yersinia pestis. Certain eukaryotes are also facultative anaerobes, including fungi such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae[3] and many aquatic invertebrates such as Nereid (worm) polychaetes.[4]

See also


  1. Ryan KJ; Ray CG, eds. (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). McGraw Hill. pp. 261–271, 273–296. ISBN 0-8385-8529-9.
  2. Singleton P (1999). Bacteria in Biology, Biotechnology and Medicine (5th ed.). Wiley. pp. 444–454. ISBN 0-471-98880-4.
  3. Carlile MJ, Watkinson SC, Gooday GW (2001). The Fungi (2nd ed.). Academic Press. pp. 85–105. ISBN 0-12-738446-4.
  4. Schöttler, U. (November 30, 1979). "On the Anaerobic Metabolism of Three Species of Nereis (Annelida)" (PDF). Marine Ecology Progress Series. 1: 249–54. doi:10.3354/meps001249. ISSN 1616-1599. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
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