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Microbiology: An Evolving Science 4th Edition

Microbiology: An Evolving Science (4th Edition)

Book Edition4th Edition
PublisherW. W. Norton

Chapter 1, End of Chapter, Review Questions, Exercise 1

Page 34

Here is a tip:

Microbes differ in their size and cellular machinery.


Microbes are microorganisms that can only be visible with the help of a microscope. These are living creatures that have numerous effects on our living system.


However, while defining the microbe, scientists got confused and find contradictions such as:

  • The size of the microbes varies to a considerable limit. For example, some protists and algae have a larger size and can be seen with the naked eye. Whereas most single-celled microbes require a microscope to get visible.
  • Some kind of microbes get assembled and form a biofilm. These different microbial cells present inside a biofilm will be able to survive by complementing each other functions. This is a similar feature observed in multicellular organisms.

Conversely, there are some complex multicellular organisms such as mites which require a microscope to get visible. Although they are not considered microbes.

Verified Answer

Challenges lie in defining because:

  • There are different sizes of microbes present in the surroundings. 
  • Some microbes share features with some multicellular organisms. 
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