Unity and Diversity in Biochemistry: An Introduction to Chemical Biology

By Marcel Florkin; T. Wood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
ENTRY INTO THE BIOSPHERE

I. CARBON AND ENERGY

IN addition to the priming and biosynthetic reactions described in Part Three we must consider the entry of energy and matter which occurs in certain regions of the biosphere. As we have pointed out, the priming reactions constitute a chemical machine which forms, at the expense of the chemical energy of nutrient molecules, energy-rich bonds of ATP, packets of energy which can be utilized for biosynthesis. Also, during the functioning of this chemical machine construction materials are produced which can be employed for biosynthetic purposes.

However organisms exist which are capable, by chemical mechanisms of their own, of introducing. into their metabolism a supply of external energy, either chemical or electromagnetic in nature. Traditionally, the name chimiosynthesis is given to the synthesis of carbohydrates from CO2 and chemical energy. In this sense, all organisms are chimiosynthetic. But, certain micro-organisms, during the synthesis of carbohydrates, introduce energy derived from the oxidation by oxygen (auto-oxidation) of a constituent of the external medium. Other organisms are capable of carrying out photosynthesis, i.e. synthesis of carbohydrates using electromagnetic energy derived from light. So, by the terms chimiosynthesis and photosynthesis we understand that sugars are synthesized. The term by light.

There are some micro-organisms who obtain all their energy and material from outside the biosphere. These are the autotrophes. They build up all their constituent organic material from CO2, H2O and other inorganic substances like ammonia, sulphates and phosphates. For energy they use that derived from the oxidation of substances in the surrounding medium. Photosynthesis, another form of autotrophism, occurs in certain bacteria, in algae, in diatoms, in green plants, etc.


A. AUTOTROPHIC BACTERIA

These organisms do not obtain their nutrient from some other region of the biosphere: the flow of energy and matter through them is derived from the inorganic world. Examples are: the nitrous and nitric bacteria and the colourless sulphur bacteria.

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Unity and Diversity in Biochemistry: An Introduction to Chemical Biology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Abbreviations vii
  • Translator's Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part One xv
  • Chapter I - The Biosphere 1
  • Chapter II - Constituents of the Biosphere 7
  • References 14
  • References 24
  • References 30
  • References 37
  • References 43
  • References 56
  • Chapter III - Modes of Linkage by Covalent Bonds 57
  • References 60
  • References 62
  • References 77
  • References 82
  • Chapter IV - Macromolecules 83
  • References 85
  • References 93
  • References 107
  • References 111
  • Part Two - Enzymes and Biochemical Energetics 129
  • Chapter I - General Principles of Biochemical Energetics 131
  • References 150
  • Chapter II - Enzymes 151
  • References 176
  • Part Three - Chemical Reactions in the Biosphere 177
  • Introduction 179
  • Chapter I - Destructive and Non-Destructive Methods in Modern Biochemistry 181
  • References 182
  • References 184
  • References 185
  • Chapter II - Priming Reactions 186
  • References 197
  • References 199
  • References 207
  • References 209
  • References 223
  • Chapter III - Biosyntheses 229
  • Part Four - Topobiochemistry and Cellular Regulation 271
  • Chapter I - Cellular Topochemistry 273
  • Conclusions 280
  • References 280
  • Chapter II - Cellular Regulation 282
  • References 286
  • Part Five - Biochemical Diversity 287
  • Chapter I - Some Aspects of Biochemical Diversity 289
  • References 303
  • Chapter II - The Inheritance of Biochemical Characteristics 304
  • References 316
  • Chapter III - Biochemistry and Taxonomy 317
  • References 332
  • Chapter IV - Biochemical Evolution 333
  • References 335
  • References 345
  • Part Six - The Metabolism of the Biosphere 347
  • Introduction 349
  • Chapter I - Entry into the Biosphere 351
  • References 365
  • Chapter II - Departure from the Biosphere 366
  • References 370
  • Chapter III - The Cycles 371
  • References 380
  • Index 381
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