Microorganisms can be categorized in several ways including aerobes (require oxygen to survive), facultative anaerobes (able to use oxygen for aerobic respiration, but may also use fermentation or anaerobic respiration when oxygen is not present, or use fermentation in the presence of oxygen), or obligate anaerobes (cannot survive in the presence of oxygen). Some examples of facultatively anaerobic bacteria are Staphylococcus spp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria spp., Shewanella oneidensis, and Yersinia pestis. Certain eukaryotes are also facultative anaerobes, including fungi such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and many aquatic invertebrates such as nereid polychaetes. Culturing facultative anaerobes, however, poses a challenge for researchers because the equipment to grow, isolate, and identify them can be costly.
Figure 1 Facultative anaerobes examples
A broad assortment of anaerobic media for facultative anaerobes cultivation has been used in our strategies, which focused on microorganisms with special metabolic skills. The majority of the isolated strains would grow on anaerobic, complex, nutrient-rich media. Autotrophic microorganisms or microbes capable of fixing nitrogen have also been cultivated. Some strictly anaerobic bacteria (Clostridium and Propionibacterium) were also isolated and cultivated by our professional work team. The multiassay cultivation approach was the basis for the detection of several bacteria(Pseudomonas and Paenibacillus) that had not been cultivated from special environments.
We have established a mature technical platform to culture various microorganisms that can be isolated from readily available sources. Further applications of our validated methods can be used to investigate anaerobic processes such as glycolysis and lactic acid fermentation.
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