The Classification Of Organisms And Structure, Metabolism, And Habitat

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The classification of microorganisms has always been more challenging than the classification of larger organisms. This is due, in large part, to the inability to easily see microorganisms and understand their functions. It is much easier for someone to see an animal or plant, process the characteristics, and group it with similar organisms. To overcome this, the scientific community was able to group microorganisms into broad categories. There are many categories, but the focus of this paper will be on three. They include shape and structure, metabolism, and habitat. The easiest way to identify something is by the way it looks. This may include shape, color, or some kind of defining structure. Microorganisms can be identified in that manner as well. Most bacteria are spherical in shape and are known as cocci. If a bacterium is more rod-shaped it is termed bacillus, while others that may have a more spiral morphology are called spirilla [1]. Add in flat and filamentous for a few more examples of how microbes can be categorized based on shape. Certain species are formed out of many cells in very particular patterns, Staphylococcus is a bunch of cocci that resemble a cluster of grapes [2]. In addition to outward appearance, microbes can be classified by their internal structure. Another structural characteristic used is the presence of a gram-positive or gram-negative cellular envelope. A gram-positive bacterium will possess a single membrane and thick cell wall, while a gram-negative bacterium possesses a double membrane and thin cell wall [3]. One of the most useful techniques to identify the difference is the Gram Stain. Gram staining allowed bacteria to be sorted into one of those two groups based on the color that it staine... ... middle of paper ... ...tes [8]. Bacteria are ubiquitous in their nature, so it is not surprising to find them all over the planet. Another example of habitat diversity is the bacteria that survive in the intestinal tract of animals. The human intestinal tract is an interesting environment to study since it has strict requirements for what bacteria can survive there. Certain selective pressures have only allowed for the survival of two types of bacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, in the adult human intestinal tract [9]. Bacteria are some of the most difficult organisms to see and understand. Classifying them based on morphology, metabolism and habitat are just a few of the many ways to characterize these species. They are too plentiful of a species to be grouped into categories that would be used for plants and animals. Microorganisms are a diverse and eclectic group of organisms.

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