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Definition of «Bacteria»

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms which can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent upon another organism for life).

Examples of bacteria include:

  • Acidophilus, a normal inhabitant of yogurt,
  • Chlamydia, which causes an infection very similar to gonorrhea,
  • Clostridium welchii the most common cause of the dreaded gas gangrene,
  • E. coli, the common peaceful citizen of our colon and, upon occasion, a dangerous agent of disease, and
  • Streptococcus, the bacterium that causes the important infection of the throat strep throat.

The term bacteria was devised in the 19th century by the German botanist Ferdinand Cohn (1828-98) who based it on the Greek bakterion meaning a small rod or staff. In 1853, Cohn categorised bacteria as one of three types of microorganisms -- bacteria (short rods), bacilli (longer rods), and spirilla (spiral forms). The term bacteria was preceded in the 17th century by the microscopic animalcules described by Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723).

For More Information «Bacteria»

  • bacteria: Definition from Answers.com

    Extremely small, relatively simple prokaryotic microorganisms traditionally classified with the fungi as Schizomycetes.

  • Bacteria

    What are Bacteria? Bacteria are microscopic organisms whose single cells have neither a membrane-enclosed nucleus nor other membrane-enclosed organelles like mitochondria ...

  • Bacteria - 2008/9 Wikipedia Selection for schools

    The Bacteria [bækˈtɪr.i.ə] (singular: bacterium) are a group of unicellular microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes ...

  • Introduction to the Bacteria - UCMP - University of ...

    Introduction to the Bacteria. Bacteria are often maligned as the causes of human and animal disease (like this one, Leptospira, which causes serious disease in livestock).

  • Bacteria - Wikimedia

    The bacteria ([bækˈtɪərɪə] (help · info); singular: bacterium) are a large group of unicellular microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a ...

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