Role of Archaebacteria
Name: Alison B.
Date: June 2002
Hello, I have had a lot of trouble finding out what role
archaebacteria play in their environment. I have found out a lot of
things on their environment and that, but i can't find out what there
purpose is, what is it that they do?
They inhabit most of the extreme environments of the planet...hot springs
Peter Faletra Ph.D.
Office of Science
Department of Energy
why do you think bacteria or archaea must 'do'
something? They live and multiply, and convert
chemicals into biochemicals while they live, using
various sources of energy to produce biomass. In
essence, that is what every living organims does.
Should there be a purpose for their presence? That, to
my view, is either a phylosophical or a religious
question, but it is not to science to answer it.
Organisms do not have to do anything in particular except grow, survive and
reproduce. That is all that is necessary to continue into the future.
There is no natural need for anything to be useful to humans or any other
species, for that matter.
That said, archaebacteria fill roles in their ecosystems that no other
organism is able to do. For instance, the guts of grass-eating mammals,
such as cows, require the help of archaebacteria called methanogens to get
energy from cellulose. Termites also require similar organisms to allow
them to eat wood.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
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Update: June 2012