Anaerobic Respiration | The breakdown of glucose in the absence of oxygen to yield chemical energy.
Anaerobic respiration is a type of cellular respiration in which foods (primarily carbohydrates), are partially oxidised releasing chemical energy. Since the substrates are not completely oxidised only approximately 5 - 6% of ATP is produced in comparison to aerobic respiration (which requires oxygen).
Anaerobic respiration occurs in some bacteria, plants and yeasts and in muscle tissue when there is an absence of oxygen (see oxygen debt).
In plants and microorganism the pyruvate from glycolysis is converted to ethanol and carbon dioxide (see alcoholic fermentation). In animals however, pyruvate is converted to lactic acid.
Organisms may be classified based upon their ability utilise oxygen for respiration, e.g.
Obligate anaerobes are organisms that cannot use free oxygen for respiration, in fact oxygen may be toxic inhibiting growth or causing death for these organisms.
Facultative anaerobes are organisms such as bacteria and fungi that are able to alter their metabolism in response to available oxygen. Thus, such organisms can respire in the presence of oxygen or absence of it.
How to use the Biology dictionary.
Use the search bar to find the key term you’re looking for. (or just browse terms using the next and previous tabs).
Watch the video for a spoken definition / read the definition.
Download and use the flash cards for revision and reinforcing key terms.
The flashcards have QR codes / interactive links back to the video spoken descriptions so whether you print them off or use them digitally you can easily check your definitions when revising!