What is Microbiology?
An introduction to Microbiology.
MicrobiologyMicrobiology is the study of small living things. Generally this means living things that are too small to see without the use of a microscope. These life forms are called microorganisms or microbes. Microorganisms include bacteria, archaea (a type of prokaryote a bit like bacteria but they have a distinct evolutionary origin), viruses, protozoa (single-cell eukaryotes like amoeba), microscopic fungi and yeasts, and microscopic algae (plant-like organisms). Microorganisms were discovered over three hundred years ago and it is thought that many new microbes have yet to be discovered. Microbiology is a wide area of science that includes bacteriology, virology, mycology, phycology, parasitology, and other branches of biology.
Most living things can be classified into prokaryotes or eukaryotes depending on whether their nuclear material (for example DNA) is surrounded by a membrane or not. Archaea and bacteria are prokaryotes. Most animals (including humans) and plants are eukaryotes. Protozoa, fungi, yeasts, and algae are eukaryotes. Viruses are a little different. Traditional classification systems do not classify viruses as living organisms. However in practise they are considered microorganisms. The study of viruses is called virology.
Microbiology therefore includes the study of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. In practise the majority of microbiology is concerned with bacteria and/or viruses although eukaryotic microbiology is also a very important branch of microbiology. Many diseases of animals (including humans) and plants are caused by bacteria, viruses, amoeba, and fungi. Bacteria are important in probiotics, they are used in food production (e.g. yoghurt and cheese) and biotechnology. Yeasts and fungi are important in food and drink production (e.g. wine, beer, bread) and are also used to produce important pharmaceuticals (e.g. antibiotics).
- MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry in Microbiology
- Climate Change and Microbial Ecology: Current Research and Future Trends
- Gas Plasma Sterilization in Microbiology: Theory, Applications, Pitfalls and New Perspectives
- Flow Cytometry in Microbiology: Technology and Applications
- The Prion Protein
- Plant Genomics
- Methylotrophs and Methylotroph Communities
- Microbial Ecology
- Plant-Microbe Interactions in the Rhizosphere
- Porcine Viruses
- Lactobacillus Genomics and Metabolic Engineering
- Viruses of Microorganisms
- Protozoan Parasitism
- Genes, Genetics and Transgenics for Virus Resistance in Plants
- DNA Tumour Viruses
- Pathogenic Escherichia coli
- Postgraduate Handbook
- Molecular Biology of Kinetoplastid Parasites
- Bacterial Evasion of the Host Immune System
- Illustrated Dictionary of Parasitology in the Post-Genomic Era
- Next-generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics for Plant Science
- The CRISPR/Cas System
- Brewing Microbiology
- Brain-eating Amoebae
- Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus