microbial nutrition and metabolism

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Reading: Chapter 5

Items in Red and Bold: may not be covered in class, so you will need to look up this information in the text (Tortora)

Explain the following terms:







Biochemical pathway



Collision theory



Reaction rate

Activation energy

Active site


  • Be able to describe what an enzyme is, and how they work (specifically, how do enzymes reduce the activation energy for a chemical reaction?). Understand why functioning enzymes are necessary for all life. How are enzymes named?
  • Understand howcompetitive and allosteric (noncompetitive) inhibitors and allosteric activators work, and be able to identify examples of these. What is feedback inhibition? Explain why a cell would want to turn an enzyme “on” or “off”.
  • If you are given the delta G for a reaction, be able to predict whether the reaction is spontaneous or not spontaneous, exergonic or endergonic.
  • Describe the effects of temperature, pH, and substrate concentration on enzyme-mediated
  • Describe how ATP is involved in coupling anabolic and catabolic reactions. When ATP is hydrolyzed, what does this mean? Does this require energy or release energy? When ADP is phosphorylated, what does this mean? Does this require energy or release energy?
  • Understand oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions. Given a chemical reaction, be able to identify which substrate is oxidized, and which is reduced.
  • Know the 4 major steps that make up aerobic respiration. For each, be able to describe the
  • Be able to describe the steps of the electron transport chain/ chemiosmosis in the level of detail discussed in lecture.
  • Describe the conditions that promote fermentation. What is the significance of generating NAD+ ? Describe the pathways involved in lactic acid fermentation and alcohol fermentation.
  • Compare and contrast aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration, and fermentation in terms of amount of ATP produced, final electron acceptor, type of phosphorylation (substrate-level or oxidative), and whether O2 is required.
  • Differentiate between photoautotrophs, photoheterotrophs, chemoautotrophs, and chemoheterotrophs, and be able to identify examples of these if provided information regarding carbon and energy source. Which metabolic pathway (or as Tortora refers to it, nutritional pattern) applies to pathogenic microbes?
  • Compare and contrast anabolism and catabolism. Give an example of a metabolic pathway that represents each type of process.
  • Describe the major classes into which enzymes are classified, the type of reaction catalyzed, and give an example of each.
  • Briefly summarize how lipids and proteins can be used to produce energy in cells.
  • Briefly describe how tests detecting amino acid catabolizing enzymes, and fermentation tests can be used to identify microorganisms in the laboratory.
  • What is an amphibolic pathway? How are these pathways important to cells?


starting substrates and end products (see summary slides after each step), and the location in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. If given a redox reaction, be able to state what is being oxidized or reduced. Also in a given reaction be able to state whether ATP is being hydrolyzed or if ADP is being phosphorylated (and if so, is it substrate-level or oxidative phosphorylation).

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