Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Dissimilative Metabolism

  • Juli Peretó
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_447-2


Dissimilative metabolism is the process by which an inorganic compound (NO3, SO42−, Fe3+, CO2) is reduced because it is used as an electron acceptor for anaerobic respiration. Dissimilative metabolism is conceptually very different from the assimilative metabolism by which the same compounds are reduced for its use as nutrient source. There are important differences between both types of metabolism. In the dissimilative metabolism, a large amount of electron acceptor must be reduced to guaranty the generation of sufficient energy, and the product is excreted into the environment, while in the assimilative metabolism, only enough amount of the compound is reduced to satisfy the needs for cell growth, and the products are normally converted into cell material.

See Also


Cell Growth Nutrient Source Bioorganic Chemistry Electron Acceptor Sulfate Reducer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain