Basically, Archeabacteria can derive nutrition from a number of sources basically metabolizing either inorganic or organic compounds that they extract from their surroundings (for example Sulfur or Ammonia). These methods must be resorted to because of the extreme, and oxygen free, nature of their environments.
“Archaea exhibit a great variety of chemical reactions in their metabolism and use many different sources of energy. These forms of metabolism are classified into nutritional groups, depending on the source of energy and the source of carbon. Some archaea obtain their energy from inorganic compounds such as sulfur or ammonia (they are lithotrophs). These archaea include nitrifiers, methanogens and anaerobic methane oxidisers. In these reactions one compound passes electrons to another (in a redox reaction), releasing energy that is then used to fuel the cell’s activities. One compound acts as an electron donor and one as an electron acceptor. A common feature of all these reactions is that the energy released is used to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) through chemiosmosis, which is the same basic process that happens in the mitochondrion of animal cells.
Other groups of archaea use sunlight as a source of energy (they are phototrophs). However, oxygen-generating photosynthesis does not occur in any of these organisms. Many basic metabolic pathways are shared between all forms of life; for example, archaea use a modified form of glycolysis (the Entner–Doudoroff pathway) and either a complete or partial citric acid cycle. These similarities with other organisms probably reflect both the early evolution of these parts of metabolism in the history of life and their high level of efficiency.”
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