15 Facts About Bacteria


Bacteria are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one biological cell.

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Bacteria are vital in many stages of the nutrient cycle by recycling nutrients such as the fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere.

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Bacteria are important in sewage treatment and the breakdown of oil spills, the production of cheese and yogurt through fermentation, the recovery of gold, palladium, copper and other metals in the mining sector, as well as in biotechnology, and the manufacture of antibiotics and other chemicals.

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Bacteria were involved in the second great evolutionary divergence, that of the archaea and eukaryotes.

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Bacteria are ubiquitous, living in every possible habitat on the planet including soil, underwater, deep in Earth's crust and even such extreme environments as acidic hot springs and radioactive waste.

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Bacteria often attach to surfaces and form dense aggregations called biofilms, and larger formations known as microbial mats.

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Bacteria living in biofilms display a complex arrangement of cells and extracellular components, forming secondary structures, such as microcolonies, through which there are networks of channels to enable better diffusion of nutrients.

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Bacteria either derive energy from light using photosynthesis, or by breaking down chemical compounds using oxidation .

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Bacteria grow to a fixed size and then reproduce through binary fission, a form of asexual reproduction.

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Bacteria can be classified on the basis of cell structure, cellular metabolism or on differences in cell components, such as DNA, fatty acids, pigments, antigens and quinones.

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Bacteria are used for the bioremediation of industrial toxic wastes.

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Bacteria can be used in the place of pesticides in the biological pest control.

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Bacteria were first observed by the Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1676, using a single-lens microscope of his own design.

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Bacteria then published his observations in a series of letters to the Royal Society of London.

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Bacteria's observations had included protozoans which he called animalcules, and his findings were looked at again in the light of the more recent findings of cell theory.

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