Lecture 1 - Introduction to Microbiology.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Cell and Systems Biology
William Navarre

MGY377H © Lisa | Page 13 L E C T U R E 1 : I N T R O D U C T I O N T O M I C R O B I O L O G Y  microbiology: the study of microorganisms (microbes)  bacteriology: study of bacteria  virology: study of viruses  mycology: study of fungi  parisitology: study of eukaryotic parasites (ex. malaria) MICROBES -7 -3  microbes are microscopic (< 1mm across, 10 M to 10 M)  through most of their lifespan  can only be seen through a microscope  6 major groups (phylogeny) studied by microbiologists  prokaryotes: bacteria  eukaryotes (have nuclei & organelles): algae, protists, fungi  viruses  anthropocentric (human)/disease-centric viewpoint of bacteria says that microbes cause disease  but, most microbes in the biome don’t cause disease  we live in a microbial world  the diversity of microbes as shown on a tree of life generated from DNA seq: coprinus – mushrooms homo – human (representative of the kingdom Animalia) zea – corn (representative of the kingdom Plantae)  branches show how distantly related  only a small percentage of life diversity is multicellular organisms like plants and humans  microbes do more than cause disease, we have been using them for thousands of years in food  they have a specific metabolism/activity to digest certain compounds & work them into other compounds into something edible to humans  used to preserve foods 30  bacteria are the most abundant form of cellular life on the planet (~10 )  the overwhelming majority of bacteria on the planet will never encounter a human or any other animal  bacteria pre-date eukaryotes by 2 billion years  mammals take up a tiny part of the timeline of the earth  bacteria existed before there was O on2the planet  many bacteria still can’t survive in the presence of O 2  the O in the early atmosphere was due primarily to 2 bacteria (cyanobacteria)  bacteria can make use of a vast array of nutrient sources, even in envmts we don’t expect  and they can convert complex things into simpler components ex. peptides to sugars  anoxic phototrophic bacteria: bacteria that can use light to liberate O 2rom the water & pump into the air MGY377H © Lisa| Page 213 MICROBIAL ECOLOGY  microbes cycle most elements on earth (imp for agriculture) -  nitrogen cycle – bacteria fix N2to NH ,4nitrify NH 3o NO 3  carbon cycle – photosynthetic microbes fix most C & many other conversions  sulfur cycle  phosphorus cycle
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