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General Microbiology - 1st Edition

Author: Linda Bruslind
Subject: Biology
Source: Open Textbook Library
Publisher: Oregon State University
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Welcome to the wonderful world of microbiology! Yay! So. What is microbiology? If we break the word down it translates to “the study of small life/” where the small life refers to microorganisms or microbes. But who are the microbes? And how small are they? Generally microbes can be divided in to two categories: the cellular microbes (or organisms) and the acellular microbes (or agents). In the cellular camp we have the bacteria/ the archaea/ the fungi/ and the protists (a bit of a grab bag composed of algae/ protozoa/ slime molds/ and water molds). Cellular microbes can be either unicellular/ where one cell is the entire organism/ or multicellular/ where hundreds/ thousands or even billions of cells can make up the entire organism. In the acellular camp we have the viruses and other infectious agents/ such as prions and viroids. In this textbook the focus will be on the bacteria and archaea (traditionally known as the “prokaryotes/”) and the viruses and other acellular agents.

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