Types of Microorganisms | Microbiology

Groups of Micro Organism


Fundamental Statements for this Learning Object:

1. Microorganisms are typically too small to be seen with the naked eye.
2. Bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and algae are the major groups of microorganisms.
3. The vast majority of microorganisms are not harmful but rather beneficial.
4. Microbiota refers to all of the microorganisms that live in a particular environment.
5. A microbiome is the entire collection of genes found in all of the microbes associated with a particular host.
6. The microbiome of the human body - especially in the intestinal tract - aid in the digestion of many foods, the regulation of multiple host metabolic pathways, and the regulation the body's immune defenses.

Basic Groups of Microbes

Microorganisms are the dominant life forms on earth, are found in almost every conceivable environment, and are essential to sustaining life on this planet. There are 5 basic groups of microorganisms:

a. Bacteria

Bacteria are typically unicellular, microscopic, prokaryotic organisms that reproduce by binary fission (see Fig. 1 and Fig.2).

b. Fungi: yeasts and molds

Yeasts are typically unicellular, microscopic, eukaryotic fungi that reproduce asexually by budding (see Fig. 3 and Fig. 4).

Molds are typically filamentous, eukaryotic fungi that reproduce by producing asexual reproductive spores (see Fig. 5 and Fig. 6)

c. Viruses

Viruses are typically submicroscopic, acellular infectious particles that can only replicate inside a living host cell. The vast majority of viruses possess either DNA or RNA but not both (see Fig. 7 and Fig. 8).

d. Protozoa

Protozoa are typically unicellular, microscopic, eukaryotic organisms that lack a cell wall (see Fig. 9 and Fig. 10).

e. Algae

Algae are typically eukaryotic microorganisms that carry out photosynthesis (see Fig 11 and Fig. 12).

To get us started on our introduction of microorganisms we will go through the following Think-Pair-Share Questions.

Source: faculty.ccbcmd.edu