Ch 17: GRE Biology: Bacterial Biology

About This Chapter

Quickly and easily review bacterial biology topics to prepare for the GRE Biology exam. The engaging video lessons and multiple-choice quizzes included in this chapter are designed to help you review topics like bacterial cell morphology, cell structure and metabolism at your own pace.

GRE Biology: Bacterial Biology - Chapter Summary

Study bacterial cell structures and their functions as well as the methods by which bacteria reproduce and generate energy. The short instructional videos in this chapter can help you prepare for GRE Biology questions on the following topics:

  • Bacterial cell morphology
  • Cell membranes and cytoplasms
  • Exterior cell structures
  • Bacterial endospores
  • The bacterial genome
  • Bacterial plasmids
  • Reproduction of bacteria
  • Transformation and transduction
  • Bacterial metabolism
  • Fermentation of bacteria
  • Characteristics of E. coli

This chapter's self-paced video lessons are taught by experienced instructors who discuss topics covered on the actual exam. Multiple-choice quizzes that chart your progress and transcripts with highlighted key terms are also available to help you create and carry out your GRE Biology study plan.

GRE Biology Objectives

If you're seeking admission to a graduate program related to the biological sciences, you might consider sitting for the GRE Biology exam. This standardized test includes around 190 multiple-choice questions and is generally taken by prospective students who want to supplement their application materials.

Use the lessons in this chapter to prepare for the roughly 6% of organismal biology questions focusing on the diversity of life. These types of questions require an understanding of bacterial cell morphology and the functions of various bacterial cell structures, among other topics.

16 Lessons in Chapter 17: GRE Biology: Bacterial Biology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Bacterial Cell Morphology and Classification: Definition, Shapes & Arrangements

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

Bacterial cell morphology can be classified into three main shapes, which are coccus, bacillus, and spiral. Learn about the three main shapes of bacterial cells, their cell arrangements, and spiral cell variations

Bacterial Cytoplasm & Cell Membrane: Structure & Components

2. Bacterial Cytoplasm & Cell Membrane: Structure & Components

A bacterial cell membrane is made of a phospholipid bilayer that functions as a barrier. Bacterial cytoplasm is found within the cell membrane and contains the necessary nutrients and organisms of the cell. Learn about the structure of bacterial cells, the function of each cellular component (cell membrane & cytoplasm), and the importance of surface area/volume to the survival of bacterial cells.

Bacterial Cell Walls: Structure, Function & Types

3. Bacterial Cell Walls: Structure, Function & Types

The primary function of a bacterial cell wall is to preserve the shape and integrity of the cell. However, the cell wall must also be porous to allow for the transportation of nutrients and waste material into and out of the cell. Learn about the structure and types of bacterial cell walls, the function of cell walls, osmotic pressure, cell envelope, cell wall, peptidoglycan, and gram-positive vs. gram-negative bacteria.

Bacterial Structures and Their Functions

4. Bacterial Structures and Their Functions

The external structures of bacterial cells vary per species and each type of structure is made for a specific function that helps the bacteria thrive and survive. Learn about the different types of bacterial structures such as the pili, fimbriae, flagella, glycocalyx, and their specific functions.

Bacterial Endospores: Definition & Formation

5. Bacterial Endospores: Definition & Formation

Bacterial endospores are dormant cell structures produced by some species of bacteria that are resistant to extreme environmental factors, chemical degradation, and time. Learn about ancient bacteria, the definition of bacterial endospores, features of endospores (germination & formation), how to kill endospores, and the relationship between bacterial endospores and disease.

The Bacterial Genome: Structure & Organization

6. The Bacterial Genome: Structure & Organization

Even though bacteria are tiny organisms, they have enormous genomes, which is the full set of genes in an organism. Learn about the structure and organization of the bacterial genome, including how supercoiling allows large-sized genomes to fit inside of cells and how plasmids contribute to bacterial DNA.

Bacterial Plasmids: Definition, Function & Uses

7. Bacterial Plasmids: Definition, Function & Uses

In most cases, the DNA an organism is born with dictates its traits, but for bacteria, plasmids change the game. Learn how F plasmids allow bacteria to transfer characteristics between individuals in tiny packages of DNA, such as R plasmids that protect bacteria and bacteriocins that fight off other bacterias.

Bacterial Conjugation: Definition & Protocol

8. Bacterial Conjugation: Definition & Protocol

While bacteria can reproduce asexually through a cloning process called vertical gene transfer, some bacteria reproduce with horizontal gene transfer using bacterial conjugation. Learn more about the definition and protocol of bacterial conjugation and discover the important roles that plasmid transfer and/or chromosome transfer play in the process.

Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process & Applications

9. Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process & Applications

Bacterial transformation is a natural phenomenon during which bacterial cells take free DNA from the environment and integrate it with bacterial genomes to create genetic diversity within the bacterial population. Learn about bacterial sexual reproduction, the definition of horizontal gene transfer, the process of bacterial transformation, and practical applications of transformation as a tool for biotechnology.

Bacterial Transduction: Definition, Process & Advantages

10. Bacterial Transduction: Definition, Process & Advantages

Transduction is the process by which bacteriophages infect and kill host cells and is necessary to horizontal gene transfers in bacterial cells. Learn about the discovery of transduction and how to define the term, the process and mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer, the two types of transduction (generalized & specialized), and advantages of bacterial transduction.

Aerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

11. Aerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

To understand bacterial metabolism, is it useful to break metabolic processes into individual blocks, exploring how those blocks work together to generate cell energy. Learn to define aerobic bacterial metabolism and discover the process of aerobic bacterial metabolism through visualization of metabolic pathways.

Anaerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

12. Anaerobic Bacterial Metabolism: Definition & Process

Bacteria, through a process called anaerobic bacterial metabolism, survive in environments where mammals normally wouldn't be able to. Understand this process through a definition and examples such as nitrate respiration and sulfate respiration.

Bacterial Fermentation Process & Products

13. Bacterial Fermentation Process & Products

Bacterial fermentation is a metabolic process in which bacterial cells use a chemical substrate to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is necessary for energy production and cell growth. Explore bacterial fermentation, anaerobic bacterial metabolism, the basics of fermentation, glycolysis, and other fermentation substrates, and the differences between respiration and fermentation.

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

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

Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli, is a mammalian gut bacteria frequently used by scientists as a model organism or host cell to research biological phenomena with the intention of applying discoveries to other biological species. Explore the past and present of E.coli outbreaks, implications of genetic manipulation, and how model organisms assist with biological research.

Growth Requirements of E. coli and Auxotrophs

15. Growth Requirements of E. coli and Auxotrophs

E. coli is prototroph bacteria capable of synthesizing all the growth factors necessary for survival, whereas auxotroph bacteria is a mutant strain incapable of producing a specific growth factor. Learn about extreme bacteria, factors that control the rate of bacterial growth like temperature, oxygen concentration, and pH, as well as the growth requirements of E. coli auxotrophs.

Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria: Role, Definition & Examples

16. Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria: Role, Definition & Examples

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria change nitrogen gases in the atmosphere into solid nitrogen compounds used in soil. Explore the definition, role, and examples of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Understand how they move nitrogen gases from air to soil, review their two forms, and learn about their role in fertilizing the world's plants.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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