We have an electron transport chain with the final e- acceptor as SO4 2-. We say this is an anaerobic process, or specifically a case of anaerobic respiration. Elsewhere, as with fermentation and glycolysis, we have anaerobic processes that do not require oxygen. Would it be more appropriate to call these processes with the final e- acceptor as anything other than oxygen to be pseudo-anaerobic? I say this as it seems misleading to call a process anaerobic that inherently is composed of aerobic processes.

  • $\begingroup$ Does this organism grow in the absense of molecular oxygen in the environment? $\endgroup$ – Cell Oct 1 '19 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure you are not confusing 'oxygen requiring' with oxidation (the loss of electrons being one useful definition)? No step in the Krebs cycle uses or produces oxygen (but NADH is produced) and in aerobic respiration oxygen is merely the terminal electron acceptor. As you point out, other electron acceptors are possible. In glycolysis there is no net oxidation or reduction (and no 'external' electron acceptor as ox/red of NAD involves removal and addition of electrons from/to the same carbon skeleton). $\endgroup$ – user1136 Oct 2 '19 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, thank you user1136. I was misled by the book I read. "The Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain both require oxygen to produce ATP and are collectively known as aerobic cellular respiration." Which I interpreted as the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain always require oxygen, whether the end process is dubbed anaerobic or aerobic depending on the final e- acceptor. $\endgroup$ – Jordan Hess Oct 2 '19 at 22:09

Because oxygen is not the majority of the energy.

Krebs cycle relies on sugars. Other processes use oxygen but can do without it or primarily use carbon fuels. So they are called anaerobic.


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