What's on the Menu?

Plesiomonas shigelloides is a chemoorganotroph, which is a type of heterotroph. Just by breaking these words down we can get a general sense of what they mean. To start, ‘troph’ means nourishment, solely referring to how the organism obtains nutrients to survive. ‘Hetero’ means other, meaning the organism can’t make it’s own energy; it must obtain energy rather than produce energy. ‘Chemo’ means chemical, so this organism obtains its energy from chemicals. ‘Organo’ means organic, so the chemical compounds must be organic for this organism to obtain energy from them.

Chemoorganotrophs get energy by oxidizing organic compounds such as glucose (sugar). These organisms generate ATP (a form of energy) through the catabolic processes of fermentation or cellular respiration. Fermentation does not require oxygen, which turns out to be less efficient at producing ATP when compared to aerobic respiration. Fermentation also produces either lactic acid or ethanol. This bacterium is facultatively anaerobic, so the environment will determine which process is used to make energy.


Next, find out how Plesiomonas shigelloides reproduces!