Cellular Waste Product - Anaerobic Respiration

Anaerobic Respiration

Anaerobic respiration is done by aerobic organisms when there is not sufficient oxygen in a cell to undergo aerobic respiration as well as by cells called anaerobes that selectively perform anaerobic respiration even in the presence of oxygen. In anaerobic respiration, weak oxidants like sulfate and nitrate serve as oxidants in the place of oxygen.

Generally, in anaerobic respiration sugars are broken down into carbon dioxide and other waste products that are dictated by the oxidant the cell uses. Whereas in aerobic respiration the oxidant is always oxygen, in anaerobic respiration it varies. Each oxidant produces a different waste product, such as nitrite, succinate, sulfide, methane, and acetate. Anaerobic respiration is correspondingly less efficient than aerobic respiration. In the absence of oxygen, not all of the carbon-carbon bonds in glucose can be broken to release energy. A great deal of extractable energy is left in the waste products. Anaerobic respiration generally occurs in prokaryotes in environments that do not contain oxygen.

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