What are Microorganisms
The phrase “Micro-organism” refers to protists, fungi, bacteria, viruses, and algae. Most of these organisms are, indeed, microscopic. Bacterias and Protoctists are single-celled organisms. Fungi and algae are multicellular. (That means their bodies are made up of many cells.) Viruses do not have a cellular structure. ‘Micro-organisms’ is a convenient term for a wide variety of reasonably simple organisms. But the word is not used in classifications, in how we use words like ‘mammal’ or ‘vertebrate.’
“An organism only seen under a microscope is called a micro-organism or microbe. For instance Viruses, Fungi, protozoa, and algae. They are present everywhere on Earth. While some microbes can lead to disease, others benefit human health and have significant uses in industry, biotechnology, and medicine.“
Names of Different Types of Micro-organisms
There are many types of Micro-organisms and a name list of a few of them is given below:
General Characteristics of Micro-organisms
- Size: Micro-organisms range from 0.2 micrometers for some viruses to several millimeters for some fungi, making them too small to be seen with the human eye.
- High reproductive rate: Micro-organisms reproduce rapidly, sometimes doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes.
- Adaptation to environments: Micro-organisms can adapt to different circumstances and can be found in various habitats, such as hot springs and ice caps.
- Genetic diversity: Micro-organisms exhibit high genetic diversity, allowing them to evolve and adapt to changing environments.
- Metabolic diversity: Thanks to their extensive metabolic capabilities, micro-organisms can break down various chemical and inorganic molecules.
- Nutrient cycling: Micro-organisms play a crucial role in cycling nutrients, including carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, in ecosystems.
- Pathogenicity: Disease can be brought on by certain microbes in people, animals, and plants.
- Importance in biotechnology: In biotechnology, micro-organisms are frequently employed to make medicines, enzymes, and other goods.
- Food production: Bread, cheese, and yogurt are just a handful of the products that microbes are used to create.
- Symbiotic relationships: The gut microbiota of humans and other animals provides evidence that micro-organisms can interact with other species in beneficial ways to both parties.
It can be described in the following points:
- Single-celled microbes known as bacteria can be found in practically all Earth’s environments.
- They can be found in various colors, shapes, and sizes.
- While some of them benefit humans and the environment, others can cause disease and infections.
- They can reproduce quickly through binary fission, where one cell divides into two identical daughter cells.
- They can exchange genetic material through processes like conjugation, transformation, and transduction.
- They are crucial for the cycling of nutrients and decomposition for ecosystems to function.
- Although abuse of antibiotics might result in antibiotic resistance, they are frequently used to treat bacterial illnesses.
Flesh Eating Bacteria
- Necrotizing fasciitis, generally known as flesh-eating bacteria, is a severe disease that can quickly destroy skin, fat, and muscle-covering tissue. Usually prevalent in soil, water, and the human intestine, the species that cause this infection can also dwell on the skin and throat.
- The germs enter the body by an open wound, cut, scrape, or insect bite. The surrounding tissue is then destroyed by the poisons they emit, resulting in discomfort, swelling, and redness. This disease can spread fast to other parts of the body.
- Severe pain, fever, chills, and an unwell sensation are signs of this disease. Further to developing blisters, the infected area may also discolor the skin, smell bad, and produce blisters. You must immediately consult a doctor if you think you could have this disease.
- Amputation and Antibiotics may be needed to prevent the infection from spreading to other body parts. Regardless of the infection’s severity, timely treatment often results in a full recovery.
Bacteria in Urine
- Bacteriuria is a medical condition that refers to the presence of bacteria in the urine and is caused by this specie in the urine. Even though urine is often sterile, it can occasionally enter the urinary system, colonize, and thrive, resulting in an infection.
- Several things, such as inadequate hygiene, urinary catheterization, or a compromised immune system, can bring on bacteria in the urine. Frequent urination, painful urination, murky or foul-smelling urine, and pelvic pain are possible symptoms.
- Escherichia coli (E. coli), which typically inhabits the intestine but can result in urinary tract infections when it enters the urinary tract, is the most prevalent bacterium identified in urine. Possible other urine bacteria include Klebsiella pneumonia, Proteus mirabilis, and Staphylococcus aureus.
- A urine culture, which entails cultivating and identifying the bacteria in a lab, is typically used to diagnose bacteria in the urine. Because they can kill them causing the infection, antibiotics are widely used to treat this disease. More testing may occasionally be required to assess underlying causes or whether the disease has migrated to the kidneys.
Gram Positive Bacteria
- Gram-positive have a thick peptidoglycan layer in their cell walls.
- They stain purple when subjected to a Gram staining procedure.
- They can form endospores, allowing them to survive in harsh environments.
- They can result in severe ailments and are present in many habitats, including the human body.
Gram Negative Bacteria
- Gram-negative have a thin peptidoglycan layer in their cell walls.
- They stain pink when subjected to a Gram staining procedure.
- They have an outer lipid membrane, which can make them more resistant to antibiotics.
- They can result in severe ailments and are present in many habitats, including the human body.
Bacterial physiology studies the biological and biochemical processes carried out by bacteria, including their metabolism, growth, reproduction, and reaction to environmental changes. It comprises how they produce and breaks down biological components, gets and utilize energy, and communicate with other microbes and their surroundings.
Mode of Nutrition
A few species of them contain a photosynthetic pigment like chlorophyll and can build up their food by photosynthesis. Most bacterias, however, live in or on their food. They produce and release enzymes that digest the food outside the cell. The liquid products of digestion are then absorbed back into their cells.
The bacteria which need oxygen for their respiration are called aerobic and those that do not need oxygen for respiration are called anaerobic bacteria. They are used in the filter beds of sewage plants and are aerobic, but those used to digest sewage sludge and produce methane are anaerobic.
Bacteria reproduce by cell division or fission. Their cell can divide into two, and each daughter cell becomes an independent bacterium. In some cases, this cell division can occur every 20 minutes so that a large colony of them can be produced quickly. This is one reason why many of them can seriously contaminate our food products. This kind of reproduction, without the formation of gametes, is called asexual reproduction.
Effect of Heat
Bacteria, like any other living organisms, are killed by high temperatures. The process of cooking destroys them in food, provided high enough temperatures are used. If drinking water is boiled, any bacteria present are killed. However, some of them can produce spores that are resistant to heat. When the cooked food or boiled water cools down, the spores germinate to produce new colonies of them, mainly if the food is left in a warm place for many hours.
For this reason, cooked food should be eaten at once or immediately refrigerated. (Refrigeration slows down their growth and reproduction.) After refrigeration, food should not merely be warmed up but either eaten cold or heated to a temperature high enough to kill any grown bacteria, i.e., to 90°C or more.
Structure of Bacteria
They are unicellular organisms without a nucleus or other organelles that are bound to membranes. Their cells usually have a cell wall that gives them shape and protection and a plasma membrane that encloses the cytoplasm. For example, a capsule or slime layer is an extra layer that some of them have that helps them stick to surfaces or elude host defenses. Moreover, some of them contain long flagella whip-like appendages that enable movement. Pili, which resemble hairs and are present in some of them, let them adhere to surfaces or other cells.
Bacterial cells’ cell wall, which provides stiffness and defense against osmotic stress, is a crucial component of their structural makeup. Here is a summary of their cell wall composition:
- Peptidoglycan, a polymer formed of repeating units of sugar and amino acid molecules, makes up most of the material that makes up their cell walls.
- The cell wall’s makeup and thickness can change depending on the bacterial species and environmental factors.
- Gram-negative bacteria have an extra outer membrane and a weaker peptidoglycan layer than gram-positive bacteria.
- The peptidoglycan layer surrounding their cell membrane provides the cell its characteristic form and keeps it from bursting under high osmotic pressure.
- Gram-negative bacteria’s outer membrane contains lipopolysaccharides, which can affect human and animal immune systems.
- Some bacterias have unique structures that protect the cell from phagocytosis by the host immune system, such as polysaccharide-based capsules.
One essential part of bacterial cells is the plasma membrane, sometimes called the cell membrane. The description of the structure of the Plasma membrane of Bacteria is given in the following points:
- Their cytoplasm is encased in a thin, pliable plasma membrane.
- It comprises two layers of lipid molecules with hydrophobic tails facing inward and hydrophilic heads facing outward, known as phospholipid bilayers.
- Enzymatic activity, Molecular transport, and cell-to-cell communication are all brought out by the proteins that make up the membrane.
- While some proteins are loosely connected to the membrane surface, others are embedded in the membrane.
- The membrane’s composition can change depending on its species and external factors.
- For instance, certain bacteria have unique proteins that enable them to tolerate extreme conditions like low pH or high temperatures.
- The plasma membrane of their cell is important for controlling the chemical amount in the cell.
The bacterial cell’s metabolic apparatus is housed in the fluid-filled interior known as the cytoplasm. A summary of the cytoplasmic structure is provided below:
- Between the cell’s plasma membrane and its nucleoid region, a gelly like material named Cytoplasm is present.
- The ribosomes, other macromolecules, and all the metabolic enzymes required for cellular function are found within it.
- Usually, the cytoplasm is more fluid near the cell membrane and denser near the nucleoid area.
- Inclusion bodies or storage granules for energy storage are two examples of the specialized cytoplasmic structures in some bacteria.
- Their metabolic requirements can affect the cytoplasm’s structure and composition.
The biological components known as ribosomes are incharge of protein synthesis. Below is a summary of the ribosome structure:
- A large subunit and a tiny subunit, which comprise ribosomes, combine to form proteins during protein synthesis.
- Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and different proteins make up each component.
- Compared to eukaryotic cells, their cells have ribosomes typically 70S in size.
- A 50S large subunit and a 30S small subunit comprise the 70S ribosome.
- The ribosome binds to mRNA and scans the nucleotide sequence to assemble amino acids from transfer RNA to create proteins (tRNA).
The genetic material is located in the nucleoid of the bacterial cell. Here is a summary of the nucleoid’s structure:
- The nucleoid is a tightly packed area of the cytoplasm instead of a membrane-enclosed structure.
- It contains a single circular DNA molecule that makes up the chromosome.
- DNA-binding proteins compact and order the nucleoid’s DNA to fit inside the tiny cell.
- Plasmids, tiny, circular DNA molecules capable of autonomous replication from the chromosome, are also present in the nucleoid.
- The nucleoid’s structure can change depending on the species and stage of the cell cycle.
In bacterial cells, the nucleoid region stores and organizes the genetic material required for cell growth and reproduction. The nucleoid serves the following essential roles:
- DNA replication: Before cell division, the chromosome of the cell is copied at the location of DNA replication, the nucleoid.
- Gene expression: The genetic material the cell requires to synthesize proteins, enzymes, and other critical molecules is stored in the nucleoid.
- DNA packaging: Their chromosome is made more compact and organized by the nucleoid, which enables it to fit inside the tiny bacterial cell.
- DNA repair: To maintain the integrity of the genetic material, the nucleoid area contains proteins and enzymes involved in DNA repair.
Bacterial flagella are long, whip-like appendages that protrude from the cell surface. The flagellum comprises three main parts: the basal body, hook, and filament. The basal body functions as a rotary motor to propel the flagellar movement and is situated in the cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane. The hook connects the basal body to the filament, a long, helical structure made of protein subunits called flagellin. The rotation of the basal body causes the flagellum to rotate and propel the bacterium through its environment.
The primary purpose of flagella in a bacterial cell is to provide motility, which enables the bacterium to move in response to or away from environmental stimuli. Many processes, like locating nutrition or avoiding dangerous substances, depend on this movement. Furthermore, flagella may contribute to adhesion to surfaces and the development of biofilms. In addition, some dangerous species of them depend on the presence of flagella to help them move through host tissues and elude the immune system.
The slime layer, which surrounds some bacteria’s outermost layer, is a thick, dense coating. It is made up of proteins, polysaccharides, and other substances. Unlike a capsule, the slime layer is often less structured and securely linked to the cell. It can operate as a nutrition supply, shield from desiccation and environmental stresses, and aid their adhesion to surfaces. The slime layer’s thickness can vary and affect bacteria’s pathogenicity.
Pili (also known as fimbriae) are hair-like structures that protrude from the surface of some bacteria. They are composed of protein subunits called pilin. Pili are thinner and shorter than flagella and are typically present in more significant numbers. They can be involved in various functions, such as attachment to surfaces, biofilm formation, and motility. Some pili can also be involved in transferring genetic material between their cells through a process called conjugation. The structure and composition of pili can vary between their species and even within the same species.
The function of pili varies depending on the type and context of the bacterial cells. Some of the standard functions of pili include:
- Adhesion: Pili can help them to attach to surfaces, such as host cells, other bacteria, or inanimate objects.
- Motility: Certain types of pili can act as grappling hooks to help them crawl along surfaces.
- Biofilm formation: Pili can facilitate the formation of their communities known as biofilms, which are essential for their survival and persistence.
- Conjugation: Some pili can transfer genetic material between their cells, allowing for the spread of antibiotic-resistance genes and virulence factors.
Characteristics of Bacteria
- Unicellular organisms: These are Single-celled, microscopic, unicellular organisms having cell sizes ranging from 0.5 to 5 micrometers.
- Prokaryotic cells: These are prokaryotes, they are not having nuclei as well as membrane-bounded organelles.
- Cell walls: They have cell walls, which give the cell structure, defense, and support. Different species of them can have diverse cell wall compositions.
- Genetic material: They have a single circular chromosome that houses all of their genetic information. Plasmids, compact, circular DNA fragments that may be moved between cells may also be present in some of them.
- Reproduction: Their division is asexually by binary fission, which divides a single cell into two identical daughter cells.
- Metabolism: They can have diverse metabolic pathways, from photosynthesis to chemosynthesis to heterotrophy. Some of them are aerobic, while others are anaerobic.
- Environmental adaptability: They can adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions, including temperature, pH, salinity, and nutrient availability.
- Diversity: They are incredibly diverse and can be found in almost every environment on Earth, from deep-sea vents to soil to the human gut.
- Pathogenicity: They have the potential to harm both humans and animals by causing disease. Examples include Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus.
What is pili multigemini?
Pili multigemini is a rare condition that affects hair follicles. It makes more than one hair shaft from a single hair follicle. It can happen anywhere on the body where hair grows, either in males or females. It is unknown what causes pili multigemini, but it is thought to be a genetic disorder in families.
How to make Bacteria in little alchemy?
To make bacteria in Little Alchemy:
Combine “life” and “swamp” to create “bacteria.”
Alternatively, you can combine “mud” and “life” to make “bacteria.”
Bacteria can also be created by combining “organic matter” and “primordial soup.”
Finally, you can combine “sea” and “primordial soup” to create “bacteria.”
How to starve bad gut bacteria?
Here are four ways to starve bad gut bacteria:
1- Limit sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet, a source of harmful bacteria.
2- Eat a wide range of plant-based foods high in fiber to help good bacteria grow.
3- Avoid processed and junk foods, which can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria.
4- You could eat fermented foods with good bacteria to keep your gut microbiome healthy.
Why are bacteria a necessary part of the nitrogen cycle?
They are a necessary part of the nitrogen cycle because:
1- They are the only organisms capable of converting atmospheric nitrogen gas into a form that plants can use.
2- Bacteria also break down organic matter, releasing nitrogen back into the soil.
3- Nitrifying bacteria change ammonia into nitrate, a form of nitrogen that plants can use.
4- Denitrifying bacteria convert nitrate back into nitrogen gas, which returns it to the atmosphere, completing the nitrogen cycle.
What temperature kills bacteria?
Different classes of bacteria have specific temperature ranges at which they die, but generally, bacteria die at temperatures beyond 165°F or 75°C. Cooking food to this temperature or higher can help to kill harmful bacteria that may be present.
How does bacteria reproduce?
Bacteria reproduce through a process called binary fission. In this process, a single cell reproduces into two daughter cells that are copies of their parent’sDNA. This process can occur rapidly, with some bacteria able to divide and multiply every 20 minutes.
Where does Streptococcus bacteria come from?
It can spread through saliva or mucus between two person, such as when they cough, sneeze, or kiss. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.