Divisions of Biology: Microbiology

The term ‘Microbiology’ first originated from the Greek words ‘mikros’ and ‘bios’, meaning small and life. It is essentially a branch of science that focuses on the study of microscopic organisms.
Usually, there are three distinct classes of Micro-Organisms. First type is a unicellular microscopic organism that contains just a single cell. The second type of micro-organism is multi-cellular and finally, the last type is known as a-cellular, meaning lack of cells. The counts of microscopic organisms or microbes on earth are huge. About five million trillion trillions of more exist. These microbes are only visible under a microscope. Microbiology is the study of all these micro-organisms.
History of Microbiology

History of Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of the structure, bodily functions & physiological processes of microorganisms. The history of microbiology begins from 1564.

E Coli

E-Coli or Escherichia is a strain of bacteria commonly found in the guts or lower intestines of warm blooded organisms, also known as endotherms.


Yeasts are classified as a part of the Kingdom Fungi. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a unique kind of yeast converts complex carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon-dioxide.

The subject is categorized into sub-disciplines like:

  1. Virology – Study about microscopic viruses.
  2. Bacteriology – The branch of science that deals with the study of small, microscopic bacteria.
  3. Parasitology – Microorganisms like protozoal parasites are covered under the sub-discipline of Parasitology.
  4. Mycology – Study of fungus.
  5. Algology – The study of Algae.
  6. Nematology – It is about study the specifics of nematodes.

Here, it is worth mentioning that virus, although microscopic are nowadays termed as ‘Organisms’ due to their very complex molecular pattern. Microbiology and Immunology are closely related.

Studies prove that microbes are diverse organisms that can grow and thrive in any environment, regardless of how extreme it is. From hot, volcanic springs to freezing, Antarctic deserts, from salt flats to pools of saturated brine, most microbes can survive anywhere. Fortunately, these bacteria and microbes are not just a dreadful source of diseases and sickness. Instead, they are useful for a variety of purposes.

  • Enzymes from bacteria are of great use in biotechnological industries.
  • Utility products like biological washing powders comprise strong portions of protein and fat degrading enzymes from bacteria.
  • Production of ice-creams and artificial snow is also a contribution of such bacterial enzymes.

All infectious diseases are caused by microbial pathogens. If it wasn’t for microbiologists, the world would have been an unhealthy place to live in. Small infections would have proved detrimental. Thanks to Microbiology that allows scientists to examine and analyze microbes in order to combat dreadful epidemic outbreaks and discover drugs effectively.

From Microbiologist to Scientists, Industrial or Food Microbiologists to Research Assistants and medicinal professionals, the scope of Microbiology is vast.

List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature
The List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature includes, alphabetically and chronologically, the nomenclature of bacteria and the nomenclatural changes as cited in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names, or published, or validly published in the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. Link

BioMolecular Networks Initiative: Microbiology
The Biomolecular Network Initiative (BNI) is headquartered at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The Initiative and PNNL are coupling experience and expertise in environmental microbiology with capabilities in molecular and computational sciences to develop unique capabilities for investigating the function and structure of biological macromolecules, microbial cells, mixed populations of microbial cells, and microbial communities. Link

Department of Bacteriology (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Welcome to the Bacteriology Department. This site contains information about microbiology for scientists, students and anyone interested in microbiology. Link

Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Leicester. Link

Department of Microbiology at Monash University
The main research and academic interests of the Department of Microbiology are: medical microbiology and microbial pathogenesis, infection and immunity, vaccine development, molecular parasitology, molecular virology, viral gene expression, molecular microbiology and microbial genetics, biotechnology. Link

Department of Molecular Biosciences – Section of Microbiology
The discipline of Microbiology at the University of Kansas has a long tradition of research excellence in the many sub-disciplines within microbiology: Immunology; Microbial Genetics; Pathogenic Microbiology; Physiology; and, Virology. Link

DOE Microbial Genome Program
The focus of the Microbial Genome Program is to develop the ability to sequence the genetic material of microbial organisms. This will provide detailed genetic information on microorganisms with importance to the environment, energy production, and other important applications. The program, spun-off from the Human Genome Program in 1994, is already providing complete sequence information on key microorganisms. Link

Enhanced Microbial Genomes Library
The Pole Bio-Informatique Lyonnais (PBIL) presents the Enhanced Microbial Genomes Library (EMGLib), a database devoted to the completely sequenced bacterial genomes and the yeast genome. Users may search the database by keyword, sequence name, or accession number. PBIL includes associated documents and links to sites related to microbial genomes. Link

Extremophile Molecular Microbiology Research Group
The EMMRG is led by Dr Stephen Cummings: it utilises molecular techniques to investigate the adaptations of extremophilic bacteria. Link

Hardy Diagnostics: Microbiology Glossary
One of the largest collection of microbiology terms and abbreviations. Link

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