MICRB 265 (09/13/13) Structure and Function

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Microbiology (Biological Sciences)
Brian Lanoil

MICRB 265 (September 13, 2013) Structure and Function  Carl Linnaeus came up with the system for naming organisms o Each organism has two names consisting of the genus and the species in that order  Even bacteria are named this way! o The first letter of the genus is ALWAYS capitalized and the first letter of the species is ALWAYS in lower case o These names are different from their common names:  “Cat” = common name; “Felis domesticus” = scientific name  “Bison” = common name; “Bison bison bison” = scientific name  The third ‘bison’ is there because it is the sub-species name o These names are in Latin  You have to pronounce every letter in Latin words  Exception: If the scientific name of an organism is named after a person whose name is pronounced differently than how it is spelt (ex. Silent ‘h’)  Ex. Theodore Escherich -> Escherichia coli (E. coli) o These scientific names may be named after another person and may also be descriptive o Scientific names must be italicized in type and underlined in handwritten documents Importance of Bacteria in Our Lives  Bacteria is responsible for >80% of all pathogenic diseases BUT the vast majority of bacteria are NOT pathogenic o This gives you an idea of just how much bacteria is in this world… too much to fathom!  Bacteria are involved with food production (ex. fermentation), additives (ex. For preservation), spoilage (ex. mold), drug production (ex. penicillan), waste-water treatment, bio-recycling (ex. Bacteria that decomposes old tires = less pollution)  Bacteria are the most metabolically diverse organisms in this world o Important for the recycling of:  Carbon  Nitrogen  Sulfur  Iron  …Among others  Bacteria are a source of genes and provide cellular scaffolding for the field of recombinant DNA biotechnology o Molecular cloning to combine DNA from multiple sources to create DNA sequences not found in today’s organisms Ribosomal RNA  Can be used quantitatively to measure the path of evolution as well as determining the relatedness of all organisms to each other o Relative rate of mutation in ribosomal DNA is constant  Every cell in this world has ribosomes o Ribosomal RNA dates back to the earliest life forms  Ribosomal RNA is a structural molecule so it doesn’t get translated into protein o rRNA is highly conserved so the variability in them help people diff
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