Monday, 3 November 2014

Things to know about Microbes

A microbe is a living organism which is too small to be seen by the unaided human eye. Millions of microbes live on the planet; most of them are single-celled organisms. They can be divided into five types based on the distinct characteristics.




Archaea

Archaea were classified as a separate group of prokaryotes based on the sequences of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes. They have no cell nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles in their cells, and they can tolerate extremes in temperature and acidity. These resistant either to heat or to extremes of acidity and alkalinity, are a source of enzymes that function under these harsh conditions. These enzymes have found many uses.


Bacteria

The bacterial cell is surrounded by a cell membrane. This membrane encloses the contents of the cell and acts as a barrier to hold nutrients, proteins and other essential components of the cytoplasm within the cell. Bacteria consist of only a single cell; have a number of shapes ranging from spheres to rods and spirals.

In industry, Bacteria have been used in the preparation of fermented foods such as cheese, pickles, soy sauce, sauerkraut, vinegar, wine and yogurt. Bacteria capable of digesting the hydrocarbons in petroleum are often used to clean up oil spills. Bacteria can also be used in the place of pesticides in the biological pest control.


Fungi

Fungi are a large group of eukaryotic organisms including yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. They have cell walls that contain chitin. Most of fungi are inconspicuous because of the small size of their structures, and their cryptic lifestyles in soil, on dead matter, and as symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi. In Industry, Edible mushrooms are well-known examples of fungi. Baker's yeast or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a unicellular fungus, is used to make bread and other wheat-based products.


Viruses

A virus is basically a tiny bundle of genetic material-either DNA or RNA-carried in a shell called the viral coat, or capsid. Viruses are the simplest and tiniest of microbes, they can be as much as 10,000 times smaller than bacteria. They are small infectious agents; they can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea. Examples of common human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, influenza, chickenpox, and cold sores and many serious diseases such as ebola, AIDS, avian influenza, and SARS.


Protista


Protists are a large and diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms including Algae, Protozoa, Slime Molds, and Water Molds. Algae play an important role as the foundation for the aquatic food chain. All higher aquatic life forms depend either directly or indirectly on microscopic gardens of algae. In industry, Algae fuel or Algal biofuel is an alternative to fossil fuel that uses algae as its source of natural deposits. Several companies and government agencies are funding efforts to make algae fuel production commercially viable.

By F.L

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