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Terminal Electron Acceptor (TEA)

Terminal electron acceptors are molecules or compounds that accept electrons at the end of an electron
transport chain (ETC) during cellular respiration or other metabolic processes. The choice of terminal
electron acceptor depends on the organism and the environmental conditions. Some bacteria and
archaea can use alternative terminal electron acceptors, such as nitrate, sulfate, or carbon dioxide, in
the absence of oxygen. This allows them to carry out anaerobic respiration and generate energy in
environments where oxygen is not available. The availability of terminal electron acceptors can have
important environmental and ecological consequences. For example, the use of alternative electron
acceptors by bacteria can influence biogeochemical cycles and the fate of pollutants in the environment.