sulfate respiration

sul·fate res·pi·ra·tion

the process of respiration used by some anaerobic organisms, in which sulfate rather than molecular oxygen is used to oxidize organic molecules to obtain energy.
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In addition, molybdate, a specific inhibitor of sulfate respiration (Oremland and Capone 1988), prevented the degradation of the hydrocarbon (Zhang and Young 1997).
1998 Phylogeny of dissimilatory sulfite reductases supports an early origin of sulfate respiration.