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Ch 3: Bacterial Biology

About This Chapter

Watch bacterial biology video lessons and learn about bacterial structure, processes, genetics, and more. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Bacterial Biology - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Bacteria are microscopic, almost everywhere in the world, and essential to many biological processes. In this chapter, instructor Angela Hartsock will explain bacterial structures, processes, and functions. You'll learn about the bacterial cell, including its walls, DNA, and endospores. Bacteria are used in many experiments and laboratories, and our lessons will explain some of the reasons why they are so useful. You'll learn all about bacteria through real-world examples and detailed diagrams and animations. This chapter is designed to teach you:

  • Bacterial cell structure
  • Genetic processes in bacteria
  • Scientific uses of bacteria
  • Bacterial metabolic processes
  • The effects of bacteria on other organisms

VideoObjective
Bacterial Cell Morphology and Classification: Definition, Shapes, and ArrangementsLearn about the different shapes and arrangements of bacterial cells.
Bacterial Cytoplasm and Cell Membrane: Structure and ComponentsUnderstand the bacterial cell structure, including the cell membrane, genome, and ribosomes.
Bacterial Cell Walls and the Gram Stain TestExplore the structure of bacterial cell walls and how Gram staining can help differentiate between types of bacteria.
Bacterial Structures and Their FunctionsLearn about bacterial structures, including flagella, pili, and capsules.
Bacterial Endospores: Definition and FormationUnderstand the bacterial structure that allows certain bacteria to lie dormant for extended periods.
The Bacterial Genome: Structure and OrganizationExplore the size and shape of the bacterial genome and how it's different from other DNA.
Bacterial Plasmids: Definition, Function, and UsesLearn about a separate DNA structure called a plasmid and how it is useful to scientists.
Bacterial Conjugation: Definition and ProtocolUnderstand this method of direct gene transfer between bacterial cells.
Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process, and ApplicationsExplore how bacteria can have altered DNA as a result of transformation.
Bacterial Transduction: Definition, Process, and AdvantagesLearn about the viral transfer of genetic material into bacteria.
Regulation of Gene Expression: Transcriptional Repression and InductionUnderstand how and when bacterial genes are expressed.
How An Operon Controls TranscriptionExplore how operons, or clusters of genes, function within the bacterial cell.
Aerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition and ProcessLearn about how bacterial cells live in an oxygen-rich environment.
Anaerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition and ProcessUnderstand the ways in which bacteria function in an environment lacking oxygen.
Bacterial Fermentation Process and ProductsExplore the fermentation process and what that process produces.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) as a Model Organism or Host CellLearn about E. coli and why it is so useful in scientific research.
Growth Requirements of E. coli and AuxotrophsUnderstand what bacteria need to survive and what happens when a bacteria can't make everything it needs.
Tooth Decay and CavitiesExplore the bacteria and process involved in the breakdown of enamel, dentin, and cementum.

17 Lessons in Chapter 3: Bacterial Biology
Bacterial Cell Morphology and Classification: Definition, Shapes & Arrangements

1. Bacterial Cell Morphology and Classification: Definition, Shapes & Arrangements

Do all bacteria look the same? Definitely not! These tiny, singled-celled organisms come in a variety of morphologies, from cocci to spirals to tetrads. Many bacterial names even have clues to their morphology!

Bacterial Cytoplasm & Cell Membrane: Structure & Components

2. Bacterial Cytoplasm & Cell Membrane: Structure & Components

Some people say a bacterial cell is just a simple bag of enzymes. This couldn't be further from the truth! Learn about the structure and function of the bacterial cell membrane, what's in the cytoplasm, and how membrane surface area impacts bacterial size.

Bacterial Cell Walls: Structure, Function & Types

3. Bacterial Cell Walls: Structure, Function & Types

The bacterial cell wall has to be strong to prevent cell lysis but also porous to allow transport across the cell membrane. In this lesson, we will examine the structure of the bacterial cell wall and how it accomplishes both of these crucial tasks.

Bacterial Structures and Their Functions

4. Bacterial Structures and Their Functions

A bacterial cell is not smooth like a balloon. Bacteria can be covered with a wide range of structures like pili and capsules that give each species of bacteria different abilities. In this lesson, you will learn about several of these key external structures of bacteria.

Bacterial Endospores: Definition & Formation

5. Bacterial Endospores: Definition & Formation

Some bacteria have the ability to enter a state of suspended animation when conditions are unfavorable. In this lesson, we will examine the bacterial endospore and learn how and why bacteria produce these structures.

The Bacterial Genome: Structure & Organization

6. The Bacterial Genome: Structure & Organization

All organisms have DNA. While the basic structure of DNA is the same, the organization of the DNA in bacterial cells is very different than in human or animal cells. In this lesson we will explore the basics of the bacterial genome.

Bacterial Plasmids: Definition, Function & Uses

7. Bacterial Plasmids: Definition, Function & Uses

What if you could pick up bits of DNA and change your traits? In the animal kingdom, organisms are born with their lifetime total of DNA. In the bacterial world, cells can add to their genome by acquiring plasmids.

Bacterial Conjugation: Definition & Protocol

8. Bacterial Conjugation: Definition & Protocol

You probably didn't know that bacteria can engage in sexual reproduction. It is not what you think. In this lesson we will explore the process of bacterial conjugation and its impact on genetic variability in bacteria.

Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process & Applications

9. Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process & Applications

DNA is all around you. So are bacteria. Did you know that those bacteria can pick up and use that DNA? In this lesson we will examine the process of transformation and how bacteria are able to make use of environmental DNA.

Bacterial Transduction: Definition, Process & Advantages

10. Bacterial Transduction: Definition, Process & Advantages

Genetic diversity allows organisms to adapt to changing environmental conditions. In this lesson, we will explore bacterial transduction and how it allows bacteria to transfer genes and increase genetic diversity.

Regulation of Gene Expression: Transcriptional Repression and Induction

11. Regulation of Gene Expression: Transcriptional Repression and Induction

Do our genes work the same way all the time? How do we regulate the expression of our genes? Explore the various ways organisms control gene transcription through repression and induction of operons.

How An Operon Controls Transcription in a Prokaryotic Cell

12. How An Operon Controls Transcription in a Prokaryotic Cell

Is gene regulation really as simple as flipping a switch? What are the parts of an operon, and how do they function to control gene transcription? We'll study the lac operon to answer these questions.

Aerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

13. Aerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

Respiration is the process of converting nutrients into usable energy. Several different mechanisms exist in the bacterial world. In this lesson, we will examine the role of oxygen in bacterial aerobic respiration.

Anaerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

14. Anaerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

Bacteria are metabolically versatile and can grow in a range of environments. Many bacteria grow in environments without oxygen using anaerobic respiration and fermentation. This lesson will discuss the process of anaerobic respiration in bacteria.

Bacterial Fermentation Process & Products

15. Bacterial Fermentation Process & Products

Bacteria in anaerobic environments can break down organic compounds using fermentation. If you have ever eaten a fermented food, such as bread, yogurt or cheese, you have tasted the products of fermentation. Now, learn the details of this process.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) as a Model Organism or Host Cell

16. Escherichia coli (E. coli) as a Model Organism or Host Cell

A model organism can help scientists perform faster and more efficient biological research. This lesson examines the most utilized model organism, E. coli, and looks at the major characteristics that make it a perfect model.

Growth Requirements of E. coli. and Auxotrophs

17. Growth Requirements of E. coli. and Auxotrophs

Escherichia coli is a normal inhabitant of your gastrointestinal tract. In this lesson we will examine the conditions required for optimal growth of E. coli both in your colon and in culture.

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