Where do bacteria that carry out chemosynthesis

Deep In The Ocean, A Clam That Acts Like A Plant

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Harvard student Colleen Cavanaugh proposed and later confirmed the tube worms survived because of their relationship with chemosynthetic bacteria. The official discovery of chemosynthesis is credited to Cavanaugh. Organisms that obtain energy by oxidation of electron donors are called chemotrophs. If the molecules are organic, the organisms are called chemoorganotrophs.

If the molecules are inorganic, the organisms are terms chemolithotrophs. In contrast, organisms that use solar energy are called phototrophs. Chemoautotrophs obtain their energy from chemical reactions and synthesize organic compounds from carbon dioxide.

Examples of chemoautotrophs include bacteria and methanogenic archaea living in deep sea vents.


The word "chemosynthesis" was originally coined by Wilhelm Pfeffer in to describe energy production by oxidation of inorganic molecules by autotrophs chemolithoautotrophy. Under the modern definition, chemosynthesis also describes energy production via chemoorganoautotrophy.

Chemoheterotrophs cannot fix carbon to form organic compounds. Instead, they can use inorganic energy sources, such as sulfur chemolithoheterotrophs or organic energy sources, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids chemoorganoheterotrophs. Chemosynthesis has been detected in hydrothermal vents, isolated caves, methane clathrates, whale falls, and cold seeps. It has been hypothesized the process may permit life below the surface of Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa.


Tubeworms provide all the necessary chemicals, including hydrogen sulfide, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. The bacteria use these chemicals to manufacture the glucose that nourish the tubeworms.

Smithsonian Institution

In biochemistry, chemosynthesis is the biological conversion of one or more carbon-containing Many chemosynthetic microorganisms are consumed by other organisms in the ocean, and symbiotic associations during his physiological research in the s in Strassburg and Zurich on sulfur, iron, and nitrogen bacteria. Chemosynthetic bacteria are organisms whose primary source of energy The means by which organisms obtain their energy depends on the.

This all takes place within an organ inside the tubeworm called a trophosome, which is packed with blood vessels and chemosynthetic bacteria. Scientists think the blood-red hemoglobin that fills the tubeworm's cardiovascular system, and which gives its plumes their spectacular color, is important in the transport of sulfur and oxygen. JavaScript must be enabled in order for this website to function properly.

Learning Made Easy You will investigate chemosynthesis and the symbiotic relationship between certain species of bacteria and tubeworms that exist near hydrothermal vents.

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Explain chemosynthesis as the process by which certain organisms synthesize organic compounds from inorganic compounds instead of light. Explain that chemosynthesis is carried out by certain species of bacteria. Volume 98 , Issue B6. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.

Prokaryote metabolism and ecology

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