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Chapter 15 : Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”

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Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

The “energy dynamo” of living cells can be roughly compared to a banking system in which different kinds of valuable materials can be transformed into units of the same kind of “energy currency,” adenosine triphosphate (ATP). From the viewpoint of bioenergetics, all (nonphotosynthetic) anaerobes behave in essentially the same way. The concept that sunlight is required for the growth of plants was not firmly established until 1779, but it was dimly foreseen by Stephen Hales, the acknowledged founder of plant physiology and one of the most prominent English scientists of the mid-18th century. Details of the pathway of carbon transformations in photosynthesis are not particularly relevant here, but one aspect is noteworthy: the means by which energy is circulated in the internal workings of photosynthesis. The O2-producing variety is found in microalgae and in bacteria called cyanobacteria (previously, but incorrectly called blue-green algae because of the color of their pigments), whereas the non-oxygenic type of photosynthesis is characteristic of the bacteria that is referred to as purple bacteria. Photosynthetic growth on organic compounds is described as “photoheterotrophic,” which simply means that light is used only as the source of energy for regeneration of ATP, and organic substances from the growth medium furnish the building blocks for biosynthesis of new cell materials. The similarities and differences between the cyanobacteria and the purple bacteria evoke many questions, particularly about biochemical and cellular evolution.

Citation: Gest H. 2003. Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”, p 95-104. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch15
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Figures

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Figure 22

Breakdown of ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) during cellular metabolism.

Citation: Gest H. 2003. Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”, p 95-104. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch15
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Image of Figure 23
Figure 23

The metabolic energy dynamo generates an “ATP current” which is used for performing biosynthetic and other kinds of processes.

Citation: Gest H. 2003. Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”, p 95-104. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch15
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Image of Figure 24
Figure 24

Illustration of the fates of the carbon atoms of glucose in alcoholic fermentation. The “sugar house” represents a glucose molecule and the black squares represent energy (ATP molecules) that the yeast cell obtains from the fermentation process.

Citation: Gest H. 2003. Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”, p 95-104. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch15
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Citation: Gest H. 2003. Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”, p 95-104. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch15
Generic image for table
Untitled

Citation: Gest H. 2003. Bioenergetics: “Energy Currency”, p 95-104. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch15

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