Illustration of Blank Oxygen symbol

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Oxygen Class Characteristics Examples from Lab
Obligate Aerobe Require O2 as final electron acceptor

Able to detoxify toxic forms of oxygen

Live in atmospheric (20%) oxygen levels

Mycobacterium smegmatis, Aspergillis niger, Micrococcus luteus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus megaterium
Microaerophile Require O2 as final electron acceptor

Limited ability to detoxify toxic forms of oxygen

Live in low (2-10%) oxygen levels

Saccharomyces cerevisiae*

*Typically facultative, but our lab strain behaved like a microaerophile

Facultative Will use O2 as final electron acceptor in aerobic environments

Can use alternate electron acceptors or fermentation in anaerobic environments

Able to detoxify toxic forms of oxygen

Live in aerobic or anaerobic environments, but grow better aerobically

Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus xylosus
Aerotolerant Never use O2  as final electron acceptor -- metabolism is strictly anaerobic

Able to detoxify toxic forms of oxygen

Live in aerobic or anaerobic environments

Enterococcus faecalis
Obligate Anaerobe Never use O2 as final electron acceptor -- metabolism is strictly anaerobic

Unable to detoxify toxic forms of oxygen

Live in anaerobic environments only.

Clostridium sporogenes