In response to a question by Nigel in class awhile ago, I did a little digging on aerobic bacteria and here’s an elaboration:
Aerobic bacteria can be divided into
- facultative anaerobes – can use oxygen but also have anaerobic means of respiration,
- microaerophiles – organisms that require oxygen to survive but require it in amounts less than that currently present in the atmosphere, and
- aerotolerant organisms – can survive in oxygen but use purely anaerobic means of respiration.
These bacteria use their cell membranes instead of mitochondria to utilize some oxygen during cellular respiration.