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Intro to Microbiology: History

and Taxonomy

Microbiology
The study of organisms to small to be
seen without a microscope
Includes living microorganisms: bacteria,
algae, fungi, protozoa
AND non-cellular infectious agents:
viruses, viroids, prions

Why study Microorganisms?


Microorganisms are the foundation for all
life on earth
They effect your everyday life
Only a minority of microorganisms are
pathogenic
Microorganisms are found almost
everywhere

Microbes and Human Welfare

Recycle chemical elements


Decompose organic matter
Bioremediation
Biotechnology
Gene therapy
Genetic engineering

Microbes can be used to clean up oil spills such as this one in Alaska

Microbes and Human Disease


Everyone has microbes in and on body
Person may or may not contract disease
once they are in contact with it

Infectious Disease
Pathogens invade susceptible host
Emerging infectious diseases
Ebola
BSE, Mad cow disease
Know other emerging infectious diseases
from book for exam

Major Groups of the Microbial World


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Bacteria
Archeae
Fungi
Algae
Protozoans
Helminths
Viruses

8. Major Features
9. Small size
10. Diverse appearance
11. Diverse genetics

Bacteria

Archaea
Found in extreme environments

Fungi

Fungi

Algae

Protozoa

Helminths

Viruses

The Spectrum of Microorganisms is


Diverse
- There are over 10 million species of
prokaryotes
- There are over 3600 known viruses
- There are about 70,000 described species of
fungi

Discovery of Microorganisms
Robert Hooke published Micrographia
(1665)
Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)
He peered at a drop of lake water through
a lens that he carefully ground

Hookes Micrographia

Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-95187]

Cork cells

Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-95187]

Anton van Leeuwenhoek

Courtesy of Pfizer, Inc.

Leeuwenhoeks drawings of bacteria

Courtesy of Royal Society, London

Next Question: Where did


microorganisms originate?
Spontaneous generation: Life originates
from non-life, believed from the time of
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
Works of Redi, Pasteur, and Tyndall refute
this theory
Prove Germ Theory of Disease

Francesco Redi (1626-1697)


Proponents of spontaneous generation
believed that worms in rotting meat came
from meat itself
Redi debunked this theory
Experiments with meat

New Experiments Needed to


Refute Spontaneous Generation
Typical Experiment: used nutrient broth
(infusion): contains nutrients needed for
microorganisms to grow
1. boil to kill all forms of life
2. seal vessel
If cloudy after standing: spontaneous
generation
If clear: no spontaneous generation
Different investigators: Different results

Louis Pasteur (1822-1894)


Father of microbiology
Demonstrated air is filled with
microorganisms
Demonstrated that sterile infusions will
stay sterile in specially constructed flasks
even when they were left open to the air

John Tyndall
Explained differences in results obtained
from different laboratories
Proved Pasteur correct
He concluded that different infusions
require different boiling times to be
sterilized
Because of heat resistant
microorganisms: Endospores

Endospores
Some microorganisms exist in two forms:
1. a cell that is readily killed by boiling
2. one that is heat resistant

Golden Age of Microbiology


Rapid advances by Pasteur and Robert Koch
Discovery of agents of many diseases and
role of immunity in prevention and cure of
disease
Discoveries include:
Fermentation and pasteurization
Germ theory of disease
Vaccination

Fermentation and Pasteurization


Pasteur- why did wine sour?
Believed at time, that converted sugars
into alcohol
Yeasts do the work of fermentation
Bacteria cause spoilage
Pasteurization

Germ Theory of Disease


Pasteur: to fight silkworm disease
Ignaz Semmelweis: Instructed hospital
staff to wash hands
Lister: treated surgical wounds with phenol
solution
John Snow: Interviewed sick and healthy
Londoners during cholera epidemic
Robert Koch

Ignaz Semmelweiss encouraged hospital staff to wash their hands

Courtesy of Pfizer, Inc.

Robert Koch (1843-1910)


Demonstrated that anthrax caused by Bacillus
anthracis
Usual means of transmission: resistant endospores

Introduced use of pure culture techniques for


handling bacteria in lab
Cultured bacteria on agar
Discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis
causative agent for tuberculosis
Proved germ theory of disease

Vaccination
Edward Jenner:
Introduced vaccine for smallpox
Inoculate with fluid from cowpox blisters
prevented smallpox

Modern developments in
Microbiology

Bacteriology
Mycology
Parasitology
Immunology
Virology
Recombinant DNA technology

Taxonomy

Taxonomy
Involves three steps:
1. Identification
2. Classification
3. Nomenclature
Objective is to arrange organisms into
categories that reflect the similarities of the
individuals within the groups

History
Carolus Linnaeus: 1700s: Two Kingdoms:
Plants and Animals
Ernst Haekel: 1866: Kingdom Protista
R.H. Whittaker: 1969: Five Kingdoms
Carl Woese: 1990: Three Domains

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species: basic unit
Group of related species: strain

Genus: group of similar species


Family: group of similar genera, ends in - aceae

Order: group of similar families, ends in - ales


Class: group of similar orders, ends in - ia
Phylum: group of similar classes
Kingdom: group of similar Phyla
Domain: group of similar Kingdoms

Domains of the Living World


Bacteria
Archaea
Eucarya
Bacteria and Archaea look identical
Also both are prokaryotes, however
differ in chemical composition and are
unrelated

Eucarya
All members of living world that are not
prokaryotes are in domain eukarya
May be single celled or multi-cellular
Always contain true membrane-bound
nucleus and other internal organelles
Far more complex than prokaryotes

Four Kingdoms within Domain


Eukarya
Animalia
Multicellular, heterotrophic

Plantae
Multicellular, heterotrophic

Protista: many single celled eukaryotes


Ex. Paramecium, algae, protozoa

Fungi
Single celled: yeast
Multicellular: molds and mushrooms

Bacteria
Single-celled prokaryotes
Most have specific shapes: cylindrical,
spherical, and spiral
Most have rigid cell walls
Multiply by binary fission
Many move using appendages

Archaea
Have same size, shape, and appearance
as bacteria
Multiply by binary fission and move
primarily with flagella
Also have cell walls, but differ from
bacteria: no peptidoglycan
Interesting Feature: able to grow in
extreme environments

Identification of Microorganisms

Microscopic examination
Culture characteristics
Biochemical tests
Nucleic Acid Analysis
Serological Tests
Persons symptoms also play a role

Classification of Microorganisms
Phenotype: Physical appearance
Genotype: Genes
Development of molecular techniques has made this
possible

Bergeys Manual of Systematic Bacteriology


All known species described here
If properties of newly isolated organism do not
agree with any description, considered new
organism

Nomenclature
International code for Nomenclature of Bacteria
Uses two-word naming system: Binomial
Nomenclature

First name is the Genus, capital


Second name is the species, lower case
Both are italicized
Example: Escherichia coli, or E.coli
Strains; minor differences with in species:
E. coli strain B or E.coli strain K-12

Nonliving Members of Microbial


World
In order to be considered alive, must be
composed of one or more cells
Viruses, Viroids, and prions are termed
agents
Viruses:
Piece of nucleic acid surrounded by protein
coat
Can only multiply inside human host cells
Obligate intercellular parasites

Non-living members of the bacterial


world
Viroids:
Simpler than viruses
Single short piece of RNA
No protective coat
Can only multiply inside cells

Prions:
Appear to only be protein without nucleic acid
Possible another agent is causing the disease