Bacterial physiology and metabolism
Salton, Milton R. J. Department of Microbiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York.
Volk, Wesley A. Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Kallio, R. E. School of Life Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
Barker, Horace A. Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California.
Leadbetter, E. R. Department of Biology, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:April 2019
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- Bacterial cell chemistry and composition
- Bacterial catabolism
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The biochemical reactions that together enable bacteria to live, grow, and reproduce. Strictly speaking, bacterial metabolism describes the total chemical reactions that take place in a bacterial cell, whereas bacterial physiology describes the role of metabolic reactions in the life processes of a bacterium. The study of bacterial physiology and metabolism has significance beyond the understanding of bacteria themselves. Because bacteria are abundant, easily grown, and relatively simple in cellular organization, they are ideal for the study of basic life processes and thus have been used extensively in biological research (Fig. 1). Functional analyses of bacterial systems have provided a foundation for much of the current detailed knowledge about molecular biology and genetics. See also: Bacteria; Bacterial growth; Bacteriology; Metabolism; Microbiology
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