Introduction to Microorganisms

Introduction to Microorganisms - cell biology and...

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Introduction to Microorganisms Microorganisms have also gained importance as tools in the scientific world. Since most have simple life cycles and can reproduce rapidly, they make ideal model organisms. Topics like genetics that are difficult to study in larger organisms because of the time and expense involved in raising them can easily be studied in microorganisms living in petri dishes by the billions. As gene therapy gains importance for the study and treatment of disease, characterizing viruses that may be used to transport genes is becoming a priority for some scientists. Overall, microorganisms are some of the most important living creatures. Their roles as producers and recyclers makes them vital in most ecosystems. A greater understanding of these tiny creatures is vital for the study and preservation of our natural environment. The following topics discuss the various types of microorganisms in depth. Since many microorganisms are unicellular, it is recommended that you be familiar with basic
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Unformatted text preview: cell biology and reproduction . A Note on Phylogeny and Taxonomy Figure %: a comparison of taxonomic (a) and phylogenetic (b) classifications In the following discussion, microorganisms have been divided into the Kingdoms Monera, Protista, and Fungi, as well as the classification Viruses. These designations come from the taxonomic 5 kingdom system commonly used in texts. However, readers should be aware that such classification is often innaccurate in terms of relatedness, or phylogeny. Recent research using molecular biological techniques has given us a wealth of information about the relatedness of different groups. For example, we now know that in the Kingdom Monera, eubacteria and archaebacteria are only as closely related to each other as each is to the other kingdoms. Other differences between the taxonomic and phylogenetic classifications of kingdoms will be discussed in each section....
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