Definition and Classification of Microorganism

Topics: Bacteria, Eukaryote, Microorganism Pages: 2 (426 words) Published: March 17, 2009
Definition of Microorganism
Microorganism (from the Greek: mikrós, "small" and organismós, "organism") is an organism that is microscopic (usually too small to be seen by the naked human eye). Microorganisms live in all parts of the biosphere where there is liquid water, including soil, hot springs, on the ocean floor, high in the atmosphere and deep inside rocks within the Earth's crust. Microorganisms are critical to nutrient recycling in ecosystems as they act as decomposers. Classification of Microorganism

Microorganisms are very diverse. They include bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists. Microorganisms can be found almost anywhere in the taxonomic organization of life on the planet. Bacteria and archaea are almost always microscopic, while a number of eukaryotes are also microscopic, including most protists, some fungi, as well as some animals and plants. Viruses are generally regarded as not living and therefore are not microbes, although the field of microbiology also encompasses the study of viruses. Bacteria

Bacteria are a large group of unicellular microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria are ubiquitous in every habitat on Earth, growing in soil, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, water, and deep in the Earth's crust, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals. There are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a millilitre of fresh water; in all, there are approximately five nonillion (5 1030) bacteria on Earth, forming much of the world's biomass. Archaea

Archea are a group of single-celled microorganisms. A single individual or species from this domain is called an archaeon (sometimes spelled "archeon"). Archaea, like bacteria, are prokaryotes. They have no cell nucleus or...
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