Chemosynthetic organisms (for example, sulfur bacteria) can live in the oceans at great depths, in those places where hydrogen sulfide comes out of the faults of the earth’s crust. Of course, light quanta cannot penetrate water to a depth of about 3-4 kilometers (at this depth most of the rift zones of the ocean are located). Thus, chemosynthetics are the only organisms on earth that are independent of the energy of sunlight.
On the other hand, ammonia, which is used by nitrifying bacteria, is released into the soil when the remains of plants or animals rot. In this case, the vital activity of chemosynthetics indirectly depends on sunlight, since ammonia is formed during the decomposition of organic compounds obtained due to the energy of the sun.
The role of chemosynthetics for all living beings is very great, since they are an indispensable link in the natural cycle of the most important elements: sulfur, nitrogen, iron, etc. Chemosynthetics are also important as natural consumers of toxic substances such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. Of great importance are nitrifying bacteria that enrich the soil with nitrates and nitrites, a form of nitrogen that is mainly absorbed by plants. Some chemosynthetics (in particular, sulfur bacteria) are used for wastewater treatment.
Chemosynthesis (from the Latin chemo – “chemo” and synthesis “synthesis”) is a method of autotrophic nutrition, in which the oxidation of inorganic compounds is the energy source for the synthesis of organic substances from CO2. This type of energy is used only by bacteria or archaea. The phenomenon of chemosynthesis was discovered in 1887 by the Russian scientist S. N. Vinogradsky.
It should be noted that the energy released in the oxidation reactions of inorganic compounds cannot be directly used in assimilation processes. First, this energy is converted into the energy of ATP macroenergetic bonds and only then is spent on the synthesis of organic compounds.
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