What are Microbes?

Microorganisms are vital to all processes on Earth. They inhabit the majority of the planet, ranging from phytoplankton in the ocean, to bacteria on a Yak on Mount Everest, to your own digestive system. Microorganisms are everywhere. With the long word, Microorganism, many scientists have turned to the short-hand word, Microbe to quickly describe these microscopic creatures. Though there are a trillion different species of microbes, this page will be more generalized, using examples of various species.

Cell Microbiology

Cell Microbiology is the bridge between cell biology and microbiology. Within Cell Microbiology, there are many many areas of study such as how microbes affect the human body in both positive and negative ways. All people and animals are covered, and full of microbes. These microbes come from birth, as well as what food we eat, air we breath, and life we live.

Anatomy Example

Inside of a person’s large intestine, there are more than a thousand different species of microbes, all of them working to break down food to provide your body with energy, as well as fight off viruses and negative bacteria. A great example of microbes working is when someone eats a salad, but its too old. When this happens, microbes will know there are negative bacteria in the food, and will discard it, protecting the body.

Plant Microbiology

Plant Microbiology is the study of Microbiomes in regards to plants and how different microbes affect the plant. Plant Microbiology also goes over the microbiology of the soil, such as microbial degradation of organic matter, and soil nutrient transformations. The most typical microbes with plants are bacteria, fungi, and predatory microbes. Bacteria and fungi work to bring the plant the nutrients it requires, and the predatory microbes work towards the nitrogen cycle, consuming pathogenic bacteria and fungi, and releasing nitrogen for the plant to use.

Crop Example

All crops require good nutrients, so when there are issues with the soil, the crop will not grow to it’s optimum yield. Typically issues with crops are soil related and is because of lack of nutrients in the soil. This is where microbes come in. When microbes are productive, they dramatically increase the amount of nutrients in the soil. This is where food for microbes come in, to improve crop productivity, repair soil, and improve overall crop and soil health.
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