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MICROBIOLOGY – Study of Organisms

Deep knowledge of Microbiology is required for understanding of Biotechnology.

As the name suggests, Microbiology is an exceptionally broad discipline that deals with the study of organisms that are usually too small to be seen by the naked eye- unicellular organisms (single celled), multicellular (multiple celled) and acellular (lacking cells) . It employs techniques—such as sterilization, fermentation and the use of culture media—that are required to isolate and grow these microorganisms. Microbiology, a large discipline, has a great impact on other areas of biology (like cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, taxonomy, genetics, food and industrial biotechnology) and general human welfare.
Our Society benefits from this field in many ways. They are necessary for the production of bread, cheese, beer and other beverages, antibiotics, vaccines, vitamins, enzymes, biopolymers and many other important products. Indeed, modern biotechnology rests upon a microbiological foundation. Microorganisms are indispensable components of our ecosystem. They make possible the cycles of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur that take place in terrestrial and aquatic systems. They also are a source of nutrients at the base of all ecological food chains and webs. Indeed microorganisms have caused great number of diseases like malaria, plague over the years and it is this reason which makes the study of microbiology even more important. This field is divided into two branches as follows:

Pure Microbiology

  • Bacteriology
  • Mycology
  • Protozoology
  • Phycology
  • Immunology
  • Evolutionary Microbiology
  • Cellular Microbiology
  • Microbial Genetics

Applied Microbiology

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology
  • Industrial Microbiology

Basic experiments include use of microscope, study of various eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms, beer and wine production, study of the fermenter, staining procedures, isolation of bacteria by dilution techniques, microbial metabolism, microbial growth control etc. Such a wide application and use of microbiology makes it very important for a biotechnologist to keep a track of it.

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