Bacterial Growth and Form

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It seems that you're in Germany.


We have a dedicated site for Germany. I assume that you already know a good deal of microbiology. In this book, I frequently use the word "we" by which I mean "you and I". Together we are going to consider bacteriology from a broader perspective and we will think our way through the important biological problems that are frequently just skipped over in every microbiology course. My most important reason for writing this book is to make accessible the relevant thinking from fields of science other than microbiology that are important to microbiology.

The book is written for people that have already have a fascination with bacteria, but can see that their background for understanding is far complete. This book consists of topics that are largely omitted from microbiology textbooks and includes some mathematics, physics, chemistry, and evolutionary biology.

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In the absence of oxygen, they utilize either fermentation or anaerobic respiration for energy production. Aerotolerant anerobes utilize anaerobic respiration but are not harmed in the presence of oxygen. Microaerophilic bacteria require oxygen but only grow where oxygen concentration levels are low. Campylobacter jejuni is an example of a microaerophilic bacterium that lives in the digestive tract of animals and is a major cause of foodborne illness in humans.

Another important factor for bacterial growth is pH. Acidic environments have pH values that are less that 7, neutral environments have values at or near 7, and basic environments have pH values greater than 7.

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Bacteria that are acidophiles thrive in areas where the pH is less than 5, with an optimal growth value close to a pH of 3. These microbes can be found in locations such as hot springs and in the human body in acidic areas such as the vagina.

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The majority of bacteria are neutrophiles and grow best in sites with pH values close to 7. Helicobacter pylori is an example of a neutrophile that lives in the acidic environment of the stomach. This bacterium survives by secreting an enzyme that neutralizes stomach acid in the surrounding area. Alkaliphiles grow optimally at pH ranges between 8 and These microbes thrive in basic environments such as alkaline soils and lakes.

How bacteria form a biofilm

Temperature is another important factor for bacterial growth. Bacteria that grow best in cooler environments are called psycrophiles. Some bacteria require light for growth. These microbes have light-capturing pigments that are able to gather light energy at certain wavelengths and convert it to chemical energy. Cyanobacteria are examples of photoautotrophs that require light for photosynthesis. These microbes contain the pigment chlorophyll for light absorption and oxygen production through photosynthesis.

Cyanobacteria live in both land and aquatic environments and can also exist as phytoplankton living in symbiotic relationships with fungi lichen , protists , and plants. Other bacteria, such as purple and green bacteria , do not produce oxygen and utilize sulfide or sulfur for photosynthesis. These bacteria contain bacteriochlorophyll , a pigment capable of absorbing shorter wavelengths of light than chlorophyll.

Purple and green bacteria inhabit deep aquatic zones.

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Share Flipboard Email. Regina Bailey is a science writer and educator who has covered biology for ThoughtCo since Her writing is featured in Kaplan AP Biology Updated September 19, Chemoautotrophs are thought to be the first organisms to inhabit earth. A heterotroph is an organism that, unlike an autotroph, cannot fix carbon and uses organic carbon for growth.

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Heterotrophs use the products formed by autotrophs to survive. Photoheterotrophs are a type of heterotroph. These organisms use light for energy, but cannot use carbon dioxide as their sole carbon source. They use compounds formed by autotrophs such as carbohydrates, fatty acids, and alcohols as their food. Chemoheterotrophs are a type of heterotroph. They are unable to fix carbon and form their own organic compounds so they must use products formed by autotrophs. These organisms use inorganic energy sources or organic energy sources to sustain life.

Phases of the Bacterial Growth Curve

Skip to main content. Culturing Microorganisms. Search for:. Bacterial Population Growth Microbial Growth Cycle Increases in cell size are tightly linked in unicellular organisms and under optimal conditions bacteria can grow and divide rapidly. Learning Objectives Duplicate the requirements of microbial growth cycles. Key Takeaways Key Points Bacteria grow to a fixed size and then reproduce through binary fission which a form of asexual reproduction. Different kinds of bacteria need different amounts of oxygen to survive.

Key Terms binary fission : The process whereby a cell divides asexually to produce two daughter cells. Anaerobe : An anaerobic organism; one that does not require oxygen to sustain its metabolic processes. Aerobe : Any organism but especially a bacterium that can tolerate the presence of oxygen or that needs oxygen to survive. Growth Terminology The two ways that microbial organisms can be classified are as autotrophs supply their own energy or as heterotrophs use the products of others.