What is Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of living organisms of microscopic size, which include bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa and the infectious agents at the borderline of life that are called viruses. It is concerned with their form, structure, reproduction, physiology, metabolism, and classification. It includes the study of their distribution in nature, their relationship to each other and to other living organisms, their effects on human beings and other animals and plants, their abilities to make physical and chemical changes in our environment, and their reactions to physical and chemical agents.

Microorganisms are closely associated with the health and welfare of human beings; some microorganisms are beneficial and some detrimental. For example, microorganisms are involved in the making of yoghurt, cheese, and wine; in the production of penicillin, interferon, and alcohol; and in the processing of domestic and industrial wastes. Microorganisms can cause disease, spoil food, and deteriorate materials like iron pipes, glass lenses, and wood pilings.

Microbiology In The Field Of Biology :-

Microorganisms are exceptionally attractive models for studying fundamental life processes. They can be grown conveniently in the test tubes or flasks, thus requiring less space and maintenance than larger plants and animals. They grow rapidly and reproduce t an unusually high rate; some species of bacteria undergo almost 100 generations in a 24 hour period. The metabolic processes of microorganisms follow patterns that occur among higher plants and animals. For example, yeasts utilize glucose in essentially the same manner as cells of mammalian tissues; the same system of enzymes are present in these diverse organisms. The energy liberated during the breakdown of glucose is “trapped” and made available for the work to be performed by the cells, whether be bacteria, yeast, protozoa or muscle cells. In fact, the mechanism the mechanism by which organisms or their cells utilize energy is fundamentally the same throughout the biological world. The source of energy does, of course, vary among organisms. Plants are characterized by their ability to use radiant energy, whereas animals require chemical substances as their fuel. In this respect some microorganisms are like plants, other like animals; and some have the unique ability of using either radiant energy or chemical energy and thus are like both plants and animals. Furthermore, some microorganisms, the bacteria in particular, are able to utilize a great variety of chemical substances as their energy source – ranging from simple inorganic substances.

In microbiology we can study organisms in great detail and observe their life processes while they are actively metabolizing, growing, reproducing, aging, and dying. By modifying their environment we can alter metabolic activities, regulate growth, and even change some details of their genetic pattern – all without destroying the organism.