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The mitochondrial paradigm for a chemiosmotic energy transduction mechanism requires frequently misunderstood modifications for application to microbes growing and surviving at acidic pH values and/or with relatively weak reductants as energy sources. Here the bioenergetics of the iron oxidiser Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans are reviewed and analysed so as to develop the general bioenergetic principles for understanding organisms that grow under these conditions. Extension of the principles outlined herein to organisms that survive (as opposed to grow) under these conditions is to be presented in a subsequent article.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochim Biophys Acta

Publication Date





1471 - 1479


Acidithiobacillus, Acids, Amino Acid Sequence, Electron Transport Complex IV, Energy Metabolism, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Microbial Viability, Molecular Sequence Data