• In the Charales, which are the algae most closely related to higher plants, cells differentiate into several distinct tissues within the organism.

  • As microorganisms, in particular bacteria, are found virtually everywhere, harmful microorganisms may be reduced to acceptable levels rather than actually eliminated.

  • [54] Some species such as myxobacteria can aggregate into complex swarming structures, operating as multicellular groups as part of their life cycle,[55] or form clusters
    in bacterial colonies such as E.coli.

  • Scientists are also considering using microorganisms for living fuel cells,[103] and as a solution for pollution.

  • However, many bacterial species can transfer DNA between individual cells by a horizontal gene transfer process referred to as natural transformation.

  • [50] Archael cells of some species aggregate and transfer DNA from one cell to another through direct contact, particularly under stressful environmental conditions that cause
    DNA damage.

  • Bacteria and archaea are almost always microscopic, while a number of eukaryotes are also microscopic, including most protists, some fungi, as well as some micro-animals and

  • Most microorganisms can reproduce rapidly, and bacteria are also able to freely exchange genes through conjugation, transformation and transduction, even between widely divergent

  • [19] The discovery of microorganisms such as Euglena that did not fit into either the animal or plant kingdoms, since they were photosynthetic like plants, but motile like
    animals, led to the naming of a third kingdom in the 1860s.

  • [44] Only now are scientists beginning to realize how common archaea are in the environment, with Thermoproteota (formerly Crenarchaeota) being the most common form of life
    in the ocean, dominating ecosystems below 150 m in depth.

  • [38] This horizontal gene transfer, coupled with a high mutation rate and other means of transformation, allows microorganisms to swiftly evolve (via natural selection) to
    survive in new environments and respond to environmental stresses.

  • [1][2] Microbes are important in human culture and health in many ways, serving to ferment foods and treat sewage, and to produce fuel, enzymes, and other bioactive compounds.

  • [107] Soil[edit] Main article: Soil microbiology Microbes can make nutrients and minerals in the soil available to plants, produce hormones that spur growth, stimulate the
    plant immune system and trigger or dampen stress responses.

  • Because microorganisms include most unicellular organisms from all three domains of life they can be extremely diverse.

  • However, other diseases such as influenza, yellow fever or AIDS are caused by pathogenic viruses, which are not usually classified as living organisms and are not, therefore,
    microorganisms by the strict definition.

  • [112] Numerous microbial pathogens are capable of sexual processes that appear to facilitate their survival in their infected host.

  • [67] Plants[edit] Main article: Plant The green algae are a large group of photosynthetic eukaryotes that include many microscopic organisms.

  • [47] The combined domains of archaea and bacteria make up the most diverse and abundant group of organisms on Earth and inhabit practically all environments where the temperature
    is below +140 °C.

  • If microorganisms can cause disease in a host they are known as pathogens and then they are sometimes referred to as microbes.

  • There are also many multicellular organisms that are microscopic, namely micro-animals, some fungi, and some algae, but these are generally not considered microorganisms.

  • [45][46] These organisms are also common in soil and play a vital role in ammonia oxidation.

  • [26] Classification and structure Microorganisms can be found almost anywhere on Earth.

  • No clear examples of archaean pathogens are known,[111] although a relationship has been proposed between the presence of some archaean methanogens and human periodontal disease.

  • [71] Bacteria use regulatory networks that allow them to adapt to almost every environmental niche on earth.

  • [48] Extremophiles have been known to survive for a prolonged time in a vacuum, and can be highly resistant to radiation, which may even allow them to survive in space.

  • He also found that he could grow the bacteria in a nutrient broth, then inject it into a healthy animal, and cause illness.

  • [25] He was responsible for the first isolation and description of both nitrifying and nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

  • [49] The biodiversity of the prokaryotes is unknown, but may be very large.

  • [34][35] Bacteria, algae and fungi have been identified in amber that is 220 million years old, which shows that the morphology of microorganisms has changed little since
    at least the Triassic period.

  • For example, mycorrhizal fungi are able to communicate with the root systems of many plants through chemical signals between both the plant and fungi.

  • Microorganisms also make up the microbiota found in and on all multicellular organisms.

  • In general a more diverse set of soil microbes results in fewer plant diseases and higher yield.

  • [7][8] Early modern[edit] Further information: Microscopic discovery of bacteria Akshamsaddin (Turkish scientist) mentioned the microbe in his work Maddat ul-Hayat (The Material
    of Life) about two centuries prior to Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s discovery through experimentation: It is incorrect to assume that diseases appear one by one in humans.

  • In adapting to avoid local eavesdroppers, signal divergence could occur and thus, lead to the isolation of plants and microorganisms from the inability to communicate with
    other populations.

  • Viruses are generally regarded as not living and therefore not considered as microorganisms, although a subfield of microbiology is virology, the study of viruses.

  • A May 2016 estimate, based on laws of scaling from known numbers of species against the size of organism, gives an estimate of perhaps 1 trillion species on the planet, of
    which most would be microorganisms.

  • They extend terrestrial life into much of the Earth’s hydrosphere, crust and atmosphere, their specific evolutionary adaptation mechanisms to their extreme environment can
    be exploited in biotechnology, and their very existence under such extreme conditions increases the potential for extraterrestrial life.

  • [93] Scientists are researching the use of algae to produce liquid fuels,[94] and bacteria to convert various forms of agricultural and urban waste into usable fuels.

  • A microorganism, or microbe,[a] is an organism of microscopic size, which may exist in its single-celled form or as a colony of cells.

  • [57] Eukaryotes[edit] Main article: Eukaryote Most living things that are visible to the naked eye in their adult form are eukaryotes, including humans.

  • [83] The roots of plants create a narrow region known as the rhizosphere that supports many microorganisms known as the root microbiome.

  • However, many eukaryotes are also microorganisms.

  • This qualification is significant since most multicellular eukaryotes consist of a single cell called a zygote only at the beginning of their life cycles.

  • [5] The earliest known idea to indicate the possibility of diseases spreading by yet unseen organisms was that of the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro in a first-century
    BC book entitled On Agriculture in which he called the unseen creatures animalcules, and warns against locating a homestead near a swamp:[6] … and because there are bred certain minute creatures that cannot be seen by the eyes, which float
    in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and they cause serious diseases.

  • This meant that the living organisms that grew in such broths came from outside, as spores on dust, rather than spontaneously generated within the broth.

  • [24] While his work on the tobacco mosaic virus established the basic principles of virology, it was his development of enrichment culturing that had the most immediate impact
    on microbiology by allowing for the cultivation of a wide range of microbes with wildly different physiologies.

  • This infection occurs through seeds that are so small they cannot be seen but are alive.

  • [108] Human health Human gut flora[edit] Further information: Human microbiota and Human Microbiome Project Microorganisms can form an endosymbiotic relationship with other,
    larger organisms.

  • [72] Extremophiles Extremophiles are microorganisms that have adapted so that they can survive and even thrive in extreme environments that are normally fatal to most life-forms.

  • Koch found that he could transmit anthrax from one animal to another by taking a small sample of blood from the infected animal and injecting it into a healthy one, and this
    caused the healthy animal to become sick.

  • Winogradsky was the first to develop the concept of chemolithotrophy and to thereby reveal the essential role played by microorganisms in geochemical processes.

  • Microbes are essential tools in biology as model organisms and have been put to use in biological warfare and bioterrorism.

  • [72][73] A network of interactions among diverse types of molecules including DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, is utilised by the bacteria to achieve regulation of gene

  • The green algae include unicellular and colonial flagellates, usually but not always with two flagella per cell, as well as various colonial, coccoid, and filamentous forms.

  • Some types of microorganisms have adapted to extreme environments and sustained colonies; these organisms are known as extremophiles.

  • [53] Bacteria function and reproduce as individual cells, but they can often aggregate in multicellular colonies.

  • Chloroplasts produce energy from light by photosynthesis, and were also originally symbiotic bacteria.


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