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Universality of glycolosis?

  1. Jul 8, 2010 #1


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    One more question about the evolution of life, but perhaps not in the Archaen or Proterozoic.

    Are there any bacteria or archaea known to use metabolic pathways other than (one or more variants of) glycolysis? Which do not use any form of glycolysis? If so, details please!

    I'm particularly interested in whether these cases, if there are any, evolved from a common ancestor, or whether they are examples of convergent evolution.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2010 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    This was thought to be correct when I researched the topic several years ago --

    Hydrotropic methanogens use carbon dioxide as a source of carbon; hydrogen as a source of energy. Carbon dioxide is reduced by hydrogen to produce methane. The methane is turn gives rise to a proton motive force across a membrane, which is used to generate ATP – a key source of cellular energy.

    No mention of glycolysis.

    You can start here:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  4. Jul 9, 2010 #3
    What about photosynthesis?
    Or chemosythesis?
    Or pentose phosphate?
  5. Jul 22, 2010 #4


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    Thanks jim macnamara and zomgwtf.

    Is there any evidence of convergent evolution, of non-glycolysis pathways?
  6. Jul 22, 2010 #5
    I think that is an issue that is still being explored by the molecular biology crowd. Given how often the assumption that convergent evolution must not happen is turned on its head by that field, I wouldn't be shocked if it turned out that there is such convergence. I can't find, nor have I heard of anything definitive in the field, yet, which supports or refutes the notion.
  7. Jul 22, 2010 #6
    I agree. I haven't gone into that much depth in gylcolosis but I'm pretty sure our understanding of the evolution of various pathways is pretty limited.

    I'm not even sure this will ever be definitively answered although it's agood question.
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