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A Breath of Fresh Air!
Oxygen Tolerance in Bacteria

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What do a bulging can of pork and beans, gangrene, and denitrification have in common? All are the result of anaerobic bacterial action.

Many important chemical processes (including food spoilage, tissue deterioration, and refueling our air with nitrogen) are carried out by bacteria and often the efficacy of these processes is determined by the amount of oxygen present in the environment in which the bacteria live. Anaerobic bacteria live in regions of lakes, oceans, sediments, and leaf litter where there is little or no oxygen available.

Do all bacteria share the same tolerance for oxygen? How can differences in oxygen tolerance be tested?

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