<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

More recently, scientists have begun to further classify gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. They have added a special group of deeply branching bacteria based on a combination of physiological, biochemical, and genetic features. They also now further classify gram-negative bacteria into Proteobacteria , Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides (CFB) , and spirochetes .

The deeply branching bacteria are thought to be a very early evolutionary form of bacteria (see Deeply Branching Bacteria ). They live in hot, acidic, ultraviolet-light-exposed, and anaerobic (deprived of oxygen) conditions. Proteobacteria is a phylum of very diverse groups of gram-negative bacteria; it includes some important human pathogens (e.g., E. coli and Bordetella pertussis ). The CFB group of bacteria includes components of the normal human gut microbiota, like Bacteroides . The spirochetes are spiral-shaped bacteria and include the pathogen Treponema pallidum , which causes syphilis. We will characterize these groups of bacteria in more detail later in the chapter.

Based on their prevalence of guanine and cytosine nucleotides, gram-positive bacteria are also classified into low G+C and high G+C gram-positive bacteria . The low G+C gram-positive bacteria have less than 50% of guanine and cytosine nucleotides in their DNA. They include human pathogens, such as those that cause anthrax ( Bacillus anthracis ), tetanus ( Clostridium tetani ), and listeriosis ( Listeria monocytogenes ). High G+C gram-positive bacteria, which have more than 50% guanine and cytosine nucleotides in their DNA, include the bacteria that cause diphtheria ( Corynebacterium diphtheriae ), tuberculosis ( Mycobacterium tuberculosis ), and other diseases.

The classifications of prokaryotes are constantly changing as new species are being discovered. We will describe them in more detail, along with the diseases they cause, in later sections and chapters.

  • How do scientists classify prokaryotes?

Human microbiome project

The Human Microbiome Project was launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008. One main goal of the project is to create a large repository of the gene sequences of important microbes found in humans, helping biologists and clinicians understand the dynamics of the human microbiome and the relationship between the human microbiota and diseases. A network of labs working together has been compiling the data from swabs of several areas of the skin, gut, and mouth from hundreds of individuals.

One of the challenges in understanding the human microbiome has been the difficulty of culturing many of the microbes that inhabit the human body. It has been estimated that we are only able to culture 1% of the bacteria in nature and that we are unable to grow the remaining 99%. To address this challenge, researchers have used metagenomic analysis , which studies genetic material harvested directly from microbial communities, as opposed to that of individual species grown in a culture. This allows researchers to study the genetic material of all microbes in the microbiome, rather than just those that can be cultured. National Institutes of Health. “Human Microbiome Project. Overview.” http://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/overview. Accessed June 7, 2016.

One important achievement of the Human Microbiome Project is establishing the first reference database on microorganisms living in and on the human body. Many of the microbes in the microbiome are beneficial, but some are not. It was found, somewhat unexpectedly, that all of us have some serious microbial pathogens in our microbiota. For example, the conjunctiva of the human eye contains 24 genera of bacteria and numerous pathogenic species. Q. Dong et al. “Diversity of Bacteria at Healthy Human Conjunctiva.” Investigative Ophthalmology&Visual Science 52 no. 8 (2011):5408–5413. A healthy human mouth contains a number of species of the genus Streptococcus , including pathogenic species S. pyogenes and S. pneumoniae . F.E. Dewhirst et al. “The Human Oral Microbiome.” Journal of Bacteriology 192 no. 19 (2010):5002–5017. This raises the question of why certain prokaryotic organisms exist commensally in certain individuals but act as deadly pathogens in others. Also unexpected was the number of organisms that had never been cultured. For example, in one metagenomic study of the human gut microbiota, 174 new species of bacteria were identified. J.C. Lagier et al. “Microbial Culturomics: Paradigm Shift in the Human Gut Microbiome Study.” Clinical Microbiology and Infection 18 no. 12 (2012):1185–1193.

Another goal for the near future is to characterize the human microbiota in patients with different diseases and to find out whether there are any relationships between the contents of an individual’s microbiota and risk for or susceptibility to specific diseases. Analyzing the microbiome in a person with a specific disease may reveal new ways to fight diseases.

Key concepts and summary

  • Prokaryotes are unicellular microorganisms whose cells have no nucleus.
  • Prokaryotes can be found everywhere on our planet, even in the most extreme environments.
  • Prokaryotes are very flexible metabolically, so they are able to adjust their feeding to the available natural resources.
  • Prokaryotes live in communities that interact among themselves and with large organisms that they use as hosts (including humans).
  • The totality of forms of prokaryotes (particularly bacteria) living on the human body is called the human microbiome, which varies between regions of the body and individuals, and changes over time.
  • The totality of forms of prokaryotes (particularly bacteria) living in a certain region of the human body (e.g., mouth, throat, gut, eye, vagina) is called the microbiota of this region.
  • Prokaryotes are classified into domains Archaea and Bacteria.
  • In recent years, the traditional approaches to classification of prokaryotes have been supplemented by approaches based on molecular genetics.

True/false

Among prokaryotes, there are some that can live in every environment on earth.

True

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Fill in the blank

When prokaryotes live as interacting communities in which one population benefits to the harm of the other, the type of symbiosis is called ________.

parasitism

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

The domain ________ does not include prokaryotes.

Eukarya

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Pathogenic bacteria that are part of the transient microbiota can sometimes be eliminated by ________ therapy.

antibiotic

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria provide other organisms with usable nitrogen in the form of ________.

ammonia

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Short answer

Compare commensalism and amensalism.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Give an example of the changes of human microbiota that result from medical intervention.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

can you please differentiate between vacuoles and inclusion bodies
Noor Reply
vacuoles consists of watery solution called cell sap while bodies are organelles
Prince
5 difference please
Noor
Archaea is an odd type of bacteria that live in extreme environments; high salt, high temperature etc. usually called extremophiles.
Danesia Reply
you know anyone that has delt with enterobacter agglomerans.
Vernon
it is a type of gram negative bacteria and its ubiquitous mostly isolated from plant stuffs and also from faecal material of animals. I heard the name pantoea . it is bacillus in structure.
Sujan
What are the classification of microorganisms
Portia Reply
Basic classification are eukaryotic and prokaryotic..
micro organisms are classified into three namely: Archaea, eukaryote and prokaryotic organisms
Blandine
Yay that's right
what is archaea
Ateeq
I've got an issue with the message view
Frank Reply
Is there any effective way to learn microbiology.
Frank Reply
I have some basic knowledge of biology. I mean i'm totally beginner in that field.
Frank
Assuming that i'm interested in neuroscience. What is the best way to master that particular subject.
Frank
Hi
Can you wait me just a minute
Iam apologies for guidance you in neuroscience.. I'm not physician.. I'm microbiologist
My pleasure to join to you
Let's begin a conversation
Frank Reply
What would be saying
?
Akram
do you know anything about microbiology
diana
I have so much studying to catch up on🙄
Britnee
any study tips
Britnee
Yas of course
What would you like to know
well i'm studying Pharmacy second year and i just started With Microbiology
diana
if you have any basics to tell us 🤷🏻‍♀️ would be helpful
diana
Yas, first you must know that you will have a very easy lecture..
In second stage you will try to learn the type of microbiology
A simple definition for microbiology
In second stage you will try to learn the type of microbiology.. you must learn the bacteria..its structure.. Classification of bacteria according to shape..
It's so easy
What triggers the natural killer cells
jenipher Reply
microbiology is the study of science which deals with study of microorganism e.g .virus,bacteria
sufian Reply
microbiology is a branch of science that deals with invisible microorganisms.
Abdinur
microbiology is the branch of science which deals with the study of organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye
Andrre
what is microbiology
Safwan Reply
history of microbiology
julie
give all details about cell
Samim Reply
Give me another names for all hypersensitivity
Don Reply
Give me the modern father of microbiology
Don
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
RITU
Louis pasteur is father of modern microbiology Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is only the father of microbiology
Sujan
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to observe the mos. whereas pasteur is the one who described about the vaccine , pasteurization etc.
Sujan
what is the virulence factor
mukhtar Reply
is the abilityof pathogen that cause disease
mary
classification of bacteria
Divya Reply
are classified into 5 as follow 1= bacilli 2= vibro 3= spirilla 4= cocci 5= spirochaetes.
Abdulkareem
this one is on the basis of morphological structure
Sujan
gram positive and gram negative according to gram staining
Sujan
u can find on the basis of temperature resistance and oxygen tolerance
Sujan
good
ANAS
on basis of oxygen requirement they could be categorized as Aerobic anaerobic facultative aerobes microaerophilic
ANAS
bacteria are classified into the three type according to their shape 1.Round cocci 2.Rod bacilli 3. spiral
mukhtar
sorry to say but for microbes there is no facultative aerobes instead it must b facultative anaerobic and obligatory anaerobic, aerotolerant
Sujan
Which ones are the microaerophilic
Godwin
what is the difference between krebs cycle and calvin cycle
Baye Reply
Practice MCQ 3

Get the best Microbiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Microbiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask