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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What 2 themes contribute to the importance of microbiology?

1. Understanding basic life processes (excellent models for understanding cell processes)

2. Applying knowledge to benefit humans

(medecine, agriculture, industry)

Define the cell

A dynamic entity that forms the fundamental unit of life

What are 2 characteristics of the cytoplasmic membrane?

-permeability barrier

-separates the inside of the cell from the outside

What is contained in the cytoplasm?

-macromolecules, their precursors, inorganic ions

-ribosomes-protein synthesizing structures (present in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes)

What are the differences b/w prokaryotes and eukaryotes?



-structurally simple

-archaea and bacteria



-membrane enclosed structures=organelles (THE NUCLEUS)

Define genome.

A cell's full complement of genes

What are the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic DNA?



-enclosed in nucleus



-a chromosome


-concentrated in nucleoid

What are 3 properties of all cells?




What are 4 properties of some cells?



-genetic exchange


Explain differentiation.

Some cells can form new structures (e.g. spore)

What 2 types of metabolic activity occur in all cells?



Describe communication, a property of some cells.

-cells interact using chemical messengers

-aware and can respond

What is LUCA?

-Last universal common ancestor (4 billion yrs ago)

When did phototropic organisms appear?

-b/w 4 and 3 bya

From what did cyanobacteria evolve?

Anoxygenic phototrophs

What caused the oxygenation of Earths atm?

-evolution of cyanobacteria

What was the result of the oxygenation of Earth's atm?

-multicellular organisms

How are evolutionary relationships (phylogeny) deduced?

-through genetic info comparison (comparative rRNA sequencing)

Define microbial community.

A population of interacting microorganisms.

Give 3 examples of a microbial community.

-human tongue


-deep lake

What are extremophiles?

Bacteria and Archaea that live in harsh environments.

Where are most microbes found?

Oceanic or terrestrial subsurfaces

How has infectious disease caused by microbes been controlled over the last century?

-improved sanitation



-improved public health practices

What is the role of microorganisms in agriculture?

-in rumen of cows to digest cellulose

-cycling of nutrients (N,S)-root nodules

What is the role of microorganisms in humans?

-G.I. tract

-synthesize vitamins and nutrients, compete w/ pathogens for space and resources

What is the role of microorganisms in the production of food?


What is the role of microorganisms in the environment?

-production of biofuels (methane, ethanol, hydrogen)


What is the role of microorganisms in biotechnology?

-genetic engineering of microbes to generate products of value to humans

-i.e insulin, antibiotics, enzymes, chemicals

Robert Hook

described microbes

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

described bacteria

Ferdinand Cohn

-founded bacterial classification, discovered bacterial endospores

Louis Pasteur

-disproved spontaneous generation-micoorganisms of putrefied food arose spontaneously from non living materials

-swan necked flask experiment

Robert Koch

-demonstrated the link b/w microbes and infectious disease

-Koch's postulates

-using solid media provided a simple way to obtain pure cultures

-observed that colonies of cells have different shapes, colours, sizes

Elie Metchnikoff

phagocytes, innate immunity

Frederick Sanger

DNA sequencing-first to sequence complete bacteriophage

Micheal Smith

Altered nucleic acid sequence of DNA fragment

Kary Mullis

Developed PCR

Barry Marshall and Robin Warren

Discovered H. Pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease

Craig Venter

Synthetic Biology-stitch together synthetic pieces of DNA to make an organism

Edward Jenner

immunity, vaccines