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Anaerobic bacteria

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Definition

noun

Bacteria that are capable of living in the absence of molecular oxygen.


Supplement

In general, these bacteria do not require oxygen for their growth and metabolism although some of them (referred to as facultative anaerobic bacteria) are capable of using oxygen when present, and carry out aerobic respiration. Other bacteria (referred to as obligate anaerobic bacteria) can neither use oxygen nor convert the lethal superoxide formed in their cells due to the presence of oxygen.


Synonym: anaerobes.
Compare: aerobic bacteria.