Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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

Metabolic Diversity

  • Felipe Gomez
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_961-2


Metabolic diversity mainly refers to the different metabolic strategies that organisms have evolved to obtain energy. Metabolic pathways evolved among prokaryotes before eukaryotes arose as the result of their interaction and coevolution with changing physicochemical environmental conditions. Metabolic diversity is life’s evolutive response enabling it to adapt to and use all available energy and organic and inorganic matter sources. Life, as we know it, follows common nutritional patterns that can be subdivided depending on energy or carbon requirements. Organisms can be classified according to their energy requirements as phototrophs, if energy comes from solar radiation, or chemotrophs, if the energy source is inorganic (chemolithotroph) or organic (chemoorganotroph) reduced compounds. According to the mechanism used, they can be classified as photosynthetic (oxygenic and anoxygenic), respirers (aerobic and anaerobic), and fermentors. Depending on the carbon source,...


Carbon Source Solar Radiation Energy Conservation Green Plant Inorganic Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC/INTA)Instituto Nacional de Técnica AeroespacialTorrejón de Ardoz, MadridSpain