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An aerobic organism or aerobe is an organism that can survive and grow in an oxygenated environment. In contrast, an anaerobic organism (anaerobe) is any organism that does not require oxygen for growth. Some anaerobes react negatively or even die if oxygen is present.
- Obligate aerobes need oxygen to grow. In a process known as cellular respiration, these organisms use oxygen to oxidize substrates (for example sugars and fats) and generate energy.
- Facultative anaerobes use oxygen if it is available, but also have anaerobic methods of energy production.
- Microaerophiles require oxygen for energy production, but are harmed by atmospheric concentrations of oxygen (21% O2).
- Aerotolerant anaerobes do not use oxygen but are not harmed by it.
Oxygen is used during the oxidation of glucose and water is produced.
- Aerobic digestion
- Anaerobic digestion
- Fermentation (biochemistry)
- Aerobic vaginitis
- Oxygenation (environmental)