Acetate and acetyl-CoA play fundamental roles in all of biology, including anaerobic prokaryotes from the domains Bacteria andArchaea, which compose an estimated quarter of all living protoplasm in Earth’s biosphere. Anaerobes from the domain Archaeacontribute to the global carbon cycle by metabolizing acetate as a growth substrate or product. They are components of anaerobic microbial food chains converting complex organic matter to methane, and many fix CO2 into cell material via synthesis of acetyl-CoA. They are found in a diversity of ecological habitats ranging from the digestive tracts of insects to deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and synthesize a plethora of novel enzymes with biotechnological potential. Ecological investigations suggest that still more acetate-metabolizing species with novel properties await discovery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- Space and Planetary Science