Scope and appliance of microbiology

About

  • Microbiology is a discipline of biology which deals with the study of microscopic organism, their interaction with other organisms and with environment.
  • It includes microscopic level organisms like bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa and the infectious agent viruses too.
  • Microorganisms present all over the globe form high altitude to the deep seas include hot springs, extremely cold climates, and high pressure even in the salty lakes.
  • Microorganisms are both beneficial and harmful to human. I.e. required in the industrial production of food stuff (bread, yogurt, beer, wine, etc), antibiotics(penicillin, chloromycetin, streptomycin) vaccine, enzymes, vitamins and many more products along with it is harmful in the way by causing fatal disease like small pox, plague, malaria, cholera, HIV, influenza and more.
  • They plays important role in maintaining the stability of ecosystem by recycling the organic and inorganic substance in carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus cycle.
  • There were many events in history that tells us how infectious microbes put the human population in danger. Like black death(1346),  yellow fever(1793), Spanish flu(1918), SARS(2002), H1N1 flu(2009), MERS(2014), ebola(2014), etc.
  • In addition to the disease outbreaks microorganism plays major role in food spoilage, detoriation on materials like paper, wood, metal and plastics.
  • In agriculture nowadays genetically improved crops are used to get more yields and disease resistant crop which can be obtained by the involvement of microorganism.
  • As microbes are present everywhere it enhances the scope and contribute in many fields like pharma, agriculture, dairy, food industries, research, nanotechnology, water industry, chemical industry.
  • Microbiologists are the person who studies these microorganisms and their morphology, behaviour, metabolic activity, habitat, reproduction, nutritional requirement, their application and pathogenicity, improvemnet and modifications which leads to the high demand of microbiologist globally.

Fields:

Dairy and food industry:

  • Deals with the microbial production for the food stuff, prevention of spoilage of food and transmission of food borne disease.  

Agricultural microbiology:

  • It include the study of microbial strains which are used to obtain genetically modified crops which are resistant to many diseases and higher yields. Production of bio-fertilizers and maintenance of the rhizo-flora.

Medical microbiology:

  • Study of disease their causative agents, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In addition in includes various clinical appliance of microbes oh human health.  

Environmental microbiology:

  • The study of microbes and their interaction with environment, role in geochemical cycles, microbial diversity, bio-remediation

Genetic engineering:

  • It deals with the study of modifying microorganism at gene level and engineered microbes are used to produce hormones, enzymes, vaccines, vitamins, antibiotic and other products.

Microbial physiology:

  • Includes the study of microbial morphological structure, metabolism and growth.

Industrial microbiology:

  • Deals with the production of antibiotic, fermented food, aminoacids, vitamins, steroids, enzymes, alcohol. In addition with the strain improvement and process of enhancing product quantity.

Soil microbiology:

  • The study of soil flora and role of microorganism in soil fertility

Water microbiology:

  • Major part of this field is the waste water management as is it a challenging condition for the world with industrial waste discharged in the water bodies and leading to the pollution causing threat for aquatic life.

Applications:

The diversity of microbes on the globe makes microbiology the most complex and largest discipline.

Food:

  • There are a majority of microbes used in the food and dairy industries for the production of food from wine, beer through the cheese, yogurt to manufacturing of bread.
  • Include Process of fermentation, pasteurization, industrial production, processing of food its packaging, food preservation and storage.
  • Microbial spoilage of food production and their prevention.

Environmental microbiology:

  • working of biogeocycle(carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus) done by microorganism
  • microorganism are present in free living state and in association with plants in symbiotic relationship.
  • Maintaining the soil fertility without exhausting soil nutrients.
  • Responsible for cleaning toxic substance from the environment. 
  • Some are pathogenic to the plant but there are few strain which act as biological control agents and protect plant against this diseases.

Medical microbiology:

  • Disease causing microbes i.e. bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa and virus responsible for causing numerous types of diseases ranging from  acute to severe life threatening.
  • Examples are cholera, influenza, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, plague, etc
  • Their diagnosis, transmission, prevention and cure are the major part of the medical microbiology
  • In contrast to the pathogenicity there are some strains inhibit the growth of other diseases causing microbes by producing antibiotic, hence, used for the production of antibiotics.

Biotechnology:

  • Genetically engineered strain used for the production of therapeutic substance like human growth hormone, insulin, etc
  • Also contribute in the commercial production of  acetone, alcohol, drugs etc

Research:

  • Diversity and unicellular structure of microbes make them easy to study and research over multicellular structure.
  • In addition they can produce millions of copies from a single cell rapidly with very low cost which is good for experiments performed.
  • Short generation time leads to quick result analysis.

Future aspects of microbiology:

  • Due to population explosion in the world there could be scarcity of food in near future in that condition single cell protein can be an alternative.
  • Newly and highly resistant species of diseases causing microbes is a challenge for the present and in the future so r DNA technology is useful to overcome this problem.
  • Treatment of cancer and HIV like diseases
  • Food preservation methods for highly perishable food items

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