KOMPAS.com – Life on earth depends on producers to provide food through anabolic reactions. The best known anabolic reaction is photosynthesis. However, did you know there is an anabolic reaction called chemosynthesis?
What is the process of chemosynthesis? Chemosynthesis is the reaction of the assembly of complex molecules from simpler molecules.
Chemosynthesis composes organic molecules from inorganic molecules, as photosynthesis does. Producers carry out photosynthesis to produce food for the food chain.
However, sunlight is not evenly distributed across the earth’s surface. In the deep sea, no sunlight enters. So, how do deep-sea producers provide food for the food chain? The answer is chemosynthesis.
Also read: What is the Difference Between Catabolism and Anabolism?
Reported from Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratorychemosynthesis is the result of the evolution of a unique ecosystem of hydrothermal vents in the deep sea that are not exposed to sunlight.
Chemosynthesis is carried out by bacteria and other organisms to make their own food without the need for sunlight.
Reported from NOAA Ocean Explorationchemosynthesis uses the energy released by inorganic chemical reactions to produce food. This is done through the oxidation of inorganic molecules.
Reported from Biology LibreTexts, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3), or methane (CH4) are used as sources of chemical energy. Together with carbon dioxide and oxygen, these chemical energy sources are oxidized to produce carbohydrates.
Also read: Classification of Bacteria
What does chemosynthesis produce? Chemosynthesis produces carbohydrates in the form of CH2O or other forms according to the source of chemical energy.
The process of chemosynthesis can be described in the following reaction:
CO2 + O2 + 4H2S → CH2O + 4S + 3H2O
What are some examples of chemosynthesis? Chemosynthesis occurs in chemoautotroph organisms that live in an environment without sunlight.
Usually, chemosynthesis is carried out by bacteria and archaea that live in hydrothermal vents with a depth of more than two thousand meters.
Chemosynthetic bacteria and archaea convert the chemical energy in the vast hydrothermal vents into food.
They are then consumed by the basic consumers in that ecosystem. For example, giant tube worms, ice worms and clams Bathymodiolus that live by eating chemoautotrophic bacteria.
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