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Ch 2: Biology of Bacteria

About This Chapter

This chapter contains helpful online lessons to teach you about bacteria and related biology concepts. You can use these lessons to study the structure, development and characteristics of bacteria.

Biology of Bacteria - Chapter Summary

When studying the basics microbiology, it's a good idea to make sure that you understand the major facts about the biology of bacteria. Students currently enrolled in a microbiology course, or simply looking to enhance their knowledge of bacteria, can go through the lessons included in this chapter to learn major topics about the bacteria biology, including the classification of bacteria cells and why E. coli is used in bacterial research. The online format of these lessons provides an informative and easy-to-use study resource for reviewing the processes of bacterial metabolism and the differences between bacterial transformation and transduction.

Once you have completed each lesson, answer the questions found in the chapter's practice quizzes and final exam to make sure that you have understood the main points from the lessons. If you get stuck on a particular topic, you can simply message the instructors for further clarification. Your personal Dashboard is a great way to track your learning progress as you complete each lesson. After going through this chapter you'll learn things like:

  • How to identify the shapes and arrangements of bacterial cell morphology
  • What are the major components of a cell membrane and cytoplasm
  • The different types of bacterial cell walls
  • What are the functions of bacterial structures, endospores, genomes and plasmids
  • How the processes for bacterial conjugation, transformation and transduction take place
  • Ways operons control transcription and how gene expressions are regulated
  • What the processes for aerobic and anaerobic bacterial metabolism are
  • How to identify the bacterial fermentation process and the states of growth and generation
  • What are the growth requirements of E. coli and auxotrophs

18 Lessons in Chapter 2: Biology of Bacteria
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.

What Is Bacterial Growth & Generation Time? - Curves, Phases & Stages

18. What Is Bacterial Growth & Generation Time? - Curves, Phases & Stages

Bacteria are able to reproduce at an incredibly rapid pace. In this lesson, we will examine the different phases of bacterial growth and how to calculate population numbers based on generation times and culture size.

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