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Lecture 1

BIOL 240 Lecture 1: Module 1 Notes

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BIOL 240
Josh Neufeld

Module 1; pg 4-31 Microbiology; - The study of microbes and how they interact with humans, food, and the environment - How we (as humans) can take advantage of microbes - Includes the study of organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye Microorganism; Includes the bacteria, the microbial eukaryotes, and the archaea Microbes; Includes microorganisms and viruses [Viruses are not technically alive] Note; Microorganism and microbe are terms that are used interchangeably sometimes by scientists, but these are clearly defined in this course 1.1 What is Microbiology? Robert Hooke - First to use a microscope to identify fruiting structures of mold o Described fungus growing on leather o “Molds are actually fruiting bodies!”- If you knock into one, the spores will fall off! - Discovered microorganisms, but not bacteria or archaea or viruses Anton(ie) van Leeuwenhoek - “Father of Microbiology” - First to see and describe Bacteria o Plaque from dead old men who didn’t brush their dirty teeth o Thick biofilm “like batter used to make bread!” Microorganisms are important! - Humans eradicated certain diseases o Ie smallpox, a viral infection - They make amino acids and vitamins that are vital for human survival! - Some infect agricultural plants ☹ - Some form plant roots, in order to let the plant grow o These microbes transform the air’s nitrogen into ammonia that the plants can deal with ▪ These microbes aren’t just for plants! About half of all “fixed” ammonia is due to microbial fixation 😊 - Degradation of organic matter! - Used to produce antibiotics, drugs, fermented food products (wine!)… Biogeochemistry - Transitioning of chemicals between organic/inorganic, oxidized/reduced forms as part of energy transfer within the ecosystem Biogeochemistry is catalyzed (largely) by microorganisms - Ex production of oxygen o Marine microorganisms undergo photosynthetic processes o Critical for ozone layer formation Biotechnology - Use of biological processes or organisms to produce goods or services - Ex bioreactor uses a population of microorganisms to produce compounds We study microbiology because we live in a microbial world • Microorganisms were the first life on Earth. • Microorganisms created the biosphere that allowed multicellular organisms to evolve. • Multicellular organisms evolved from microorganisms. • More than 50% of the biomass on Earth is composed of microorganisms. • Microorganisms will be on Earth forever. 1.2 About Microbes Microbial cells consist of macromolecules such as; - Polypeptides, the building blocks of protein (enzyme = protein) o Enzymes, a type of protein, is essential for cell biochemical reactions o Other proteins are structural cell components o Makes up 50-55% of a microbial cell - Nucleic acids (Deoxyribonucleotides and ribonucleotides) make up to 25% of the cell - Lipids and Polysaccharides make up another 20% (10% each) of the cell Polypeptides; - Make DNA or RNA using RNA polymerase - Glycogen Phosphorylase converts glycogen to glucose monomers - Motility via flagellin - Help cell find division plane in binary fission o Aka the place with lots of FtsZ protein ▪ FtsZ protein catalyzes the breaking/reformation of the cell wall RNA has many purposes - mRNA encodes for proteins and is involved in translation and transcription - rRNA is most of the RNA in a cell, and is found in ribosomes Nucleic Acid- polymer of nucleotides, composed of a sugar, a phosphate, and a nitrogen containing base that includes DNA and RNA Lipids - mostly found in cell’s lipid bilayer - has embedded polysaccharides and polypeptides (transporters!) Polysaccharides, aka sugars, either give structure or are used to store energy In Chapter 1, the mini-paper “A Focus on the Research: The Three Domains of Life” describes Woese and his colleagues' seminal paper from 1990: Read it and be able to answer the related Questions for Discussion Carl Woese discovered archaea Know Table 1.3- difference/similarities between Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya - Eukarya has membrane bound organelles - Archaea’s RNA polymerase is similar to Eukarya, NOT bacteria - Ba
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