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Chapter 1

A Brief History of Microbiology

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Lecture prepared by Mindy Miller-Kittrell North Carolina State University

The Early Years of Microbiology

What Does Life Really Look Like?


Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (Dutch)
Began making and using simple microscopes Often made a new microscope for each specimen Examined water and visualized tiny animals, fungi, algae, and single-celled protozoa: animalcules

By end of 19th century, these organisms were called microorganisms

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Figure 1.1 Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

Figure 1.2 Reproduction of Leeuwenhoeks microscope

Lens Specimen holder

Figure 1.3 The microbial world

The Early Years of Microbiology

How Can Microbes Be Classified?


Carolus Linnaeus developed taxonomic system for grouping similar organisms together Leeuwenhoeks microorganisms grouped into six categories:
Bacteria Archaea Fungi Protozoa Algae Small multicellular animals
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The Early Years of Microbiology

Bacteria and Archaea


Unicellular and lack nuclei Much smaller than eukaryotes Found everywhere there is sufficient moisture Reproduce asexually Two kinds
Bacteria cell walls contain peptidoglycan Archaea cell walls composed of polymers other than peptidoglycan

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Figure 1.4 Cells of the bacterium Streptococcus

Nucleus of Prokaryotic bacterial cells eukaryotic cheek cell

Cells of the bacterium Streptococ cus (dark blue) and two human cheek cells. Notice the size difference.

The Early Years of Microbiology

Fungi
Eukaryotic (have membrane-bound nucleus) Obtain food from other organisms Possess cell walls Include
Molds multicellular; grow as long filaments; reproduce by sexual and asexual spores Yeasts unicellular; reproduce by budding or sexual spores

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Figure 1.5 Fungi-overview

The Early Years of Microbiology

Protozoa
Single-celled eukaryotes Similar to animals in nutrient needs and cellular structure Live freely in water; some live in animal hosts Asexual (most) and sexual reproduction Most are capable of locomotion by
Pseudopodia Cilia Flagella

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Figure 1.6 Locomotive structures of protozoa-overview

The Early Years of Microbiology

Algae
Unicellular or multicellular Photosynthetic Simple reproductive structures Categorized on the basis of pigmentation, storage products, and composition of cell wall

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Figure 1.7 Algae-overview

Figure 1.8 An immature stage of a parasitic worm in blood

Red blood cell

Figure 1.9 Viruses infecting a bacterium

Virus

Bacterium

Viruses assembling inside cell

The Golden Age of Microbiology

Scientists searched for answers to four questions


Is spontaneous generation of microbial life possible? What causes fermentation? What causes disease? How can we prevent infection and disease?

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The Golden Age of Microbiology

Some thought living things arose from three processes


Asexual reproduction Sexual reproduction Nonliving matter

Aristotle proposed spontaneous generation (384-322 B.C.)


Living things can arise from nonliving matter

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The Golden Age of Microbiology

Redis Experiments
When decaying meat was kept isolated from flies, maggots never developed Meat exposed to flies was soon infested As a result, scientists began to doubt Aristotles theory

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Figure 1.10 Redis experiments: late 1600s

Flask unsealed

Flask sealed

Flask covered with gauze

The Golden Age of Microbiology

Needhams Experiments
Scientists thought microbes, but not animals, could arise spontaneously Needhams experiments reinforced this idea

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The Golden Age of Microbiology

Spallanzanis Experiments
Conclusions
Needham failed to heat vials sufficiently to kill all microbes or had not sealed vials tightly enough Microorganisms exist in air and can contaminate experiments Spontaneous generation does not occur

Critics argued against experiments


Sealed vials did not allow enough air for organisms to survive Prolonged heating destroyed life force
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Figure 1.11 Louis Pasteur

The Golden Age of Microbiology

Pasteurs Experiments
When the swan-necked flasks remained upright, no microbial growth appeared When the flask was tilted, dust from the bend in the neck seeped back into the flask and made the infusion cloudy with microbes within a day

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Figure 1.12 Pasteurs experiments with swan-necked flasks

Steam escapes from open end of flask.

Air moves in and out of flask.

Dust from air settles in bend.

Infusion is heated.

Infusion sits; no microbes appear.

Months

Infusion remains sterile indefinitely.

The Golden Age of Microbiology The Scientific Method


*Identify Question

Form Hypothesis
Collect data by performing experiment *Interpret results
Peer Review Publish Findings
If hypothesis is rejected

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The Golden Age of Microbiology


The Scientific Method: Pasteurs experiment *Identify Question

Form Hypothesis

Collect data by performing experiment

*Interpret results

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Figure 1.13 The scientific method

Observations

Question

Repeat

Experimental data support hypothesis Observations Experimental data do not support hypothesis

Accept hypothesis

Theory or law

Hypothesis

Experiment, including control groups

Reject hypothesis

Modified hypothesis

Modify hypothesis

The Golden Age of Microbiology

What Causes Fermentation?


Spoiled wine threatened livelihood of vintners Some believed air caused fermentation Others insisted living organisms caused fermentation Vintners funded research to prevent spoilage during fermentation This debate also linked to debate over spontaneous generation

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Figure 1.14 Pasteur's application of the scientific method

Observation:
Fermenting grape juice Microscopic analysis shows juice contains yeasts and bacteria.

Hypothesis

Experiment
Day 1: Flasks of grape Day 2 juice are heated sufficiently to kill all microbes.

Observation

Conclusion

I. Spontaneous fermentation occurs.

Flask is sealed.

No fermentation; juice remains free of microbes

Reject hypothesis I.

II. Air ferments grape juice.

Flask remains open to air via curved neck.

No fermentation; juice remains free of microbes

Reject hypothesis II.

III. Bacteria ferment grape juice into alcohol.

Juice in flask is inoculated with bacteria and sealed.

Bacteria reproduce; acids are produced.

Modify hypothesis III; bacteria ferment grape juice into acids. Accept hypothesis IV; yeasts ferment grape juice into alcohol.

IV. Yeasts ferment grape juice into alcohol.

Juice in flask is inoculated with yeast and sealed.

Yeasts reproduce; alcohol is produced.

Table 1.1 Some Industrial Uses of Microbes

The Golden Age of Microbiology

What Causes Disease?


Pasteur developed germ theory of disease Robert Koch studied causative agents of disease
Anthrax Examined colonies of microorganisms

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Figure 1.15 Robert Koch

The Golden Age of Microbiology

Kochs Contributions
Simple staining techniques First photomicrograph of bacteria First photomicrograph of bacteria in diseased tissue Techniques for estimating CFU/ml Use of steam to sterilize media Use of Petri dishes Techniques to transfer bacteria Bacteria as distinct species
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Figure 1.16 Bacterial colonies on agar

Bacterium 6 Bacterium 5 Bacterium 4 Bacterium 3 Bacterium 2 Bacterium 1

Bacterium 7 Bacterium 8 Bacterium 9 Bacterium 10 Bacterium 11 Bacterium 12

The Golden Age of Microbiology

Kochs Postulates
Suspected causative agent must be found in every case of the disease and be absent from healthy hosts Agent must be isolated and grown outside the host When agent is introduced into a healthy, susceptible host, the host must get the disease Same agent must be found in the diseased experimental host

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Table 1.2 Other Notable Scientists of the Golden Age of Microbiology and the Agents of Disease They Discovered

The Golden Age of Microbiology

Grams Stain
Danish scientist Hans Christian Gram developed more important staining technique than Kochs in 1884 Involves the applications of a series of dyes Some microbes are left purple, now labeled Gram-positive Other microbes are left pink, now labeled Gramnegative Gram procedure used to separate into two groups
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Figure 1.17 Results of Gram staining

Gram-positive Gram-negative

The Golden Age of Microbiology

How Can We Prevent Infection and Disease?


Semmelweis and handwashing Listers antiseptic technique Nightingale and nursing Snow infection control and epidemiology Jenners vaccine field of immunology Ehrlichs magic bullets field of chemotherapy

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Semmelweis and Lister Video

Figure 1.18 Florence Nightingale

Figure 1.19 Some scientific disciplines and applications


BIOLOGISTS MODERN DISCIPLINES
Bacteriology (bacteria) Protozoology (protozoa) Mycology (fungi) Parasitology (protozoa and animals) Phycology (algae) Taxonomy Infection control Epidemiology

Pre-1857
Leeuwenhoek

Linnaeus Semmelweiss Snow

The Golden Age of Microbiology (18571907)


Industrial microbiology Pasteur Pasteurization Food and beverage technology Microbial metabolism Genetics Genetic engineering Kochs postulates Etiology Virology Environmental microbiology Ecological microbiology Microbial morphology Antiseptic medical techniques Hospital microbiology

Buchner

Koch Ivanowski Beijerinck Winogradsky Gram Lister Nightingale Jenner von Behring Kitasato Ehrlich Fleming

Serology Immunology

Chemotherapy Pharmaceutical microbiology

The Modern Age of Microbiology

What Are the Basic Chemical Reactions of Life?


Biochemistry
Began with Pasteurs and Buchners works Microbes used as model systems for biochemical reactions Practical applications
Design of herbicides and pesticides Diagnosis of illness and monitoring responses to treatment Treatment of metabolic diseases Drug design
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The Modern Age of Microbiology

How Do Genes Work?


Microbial genetics Molecular biology Recombinant DNA technology Gene therapy

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The Modern Age of Microbiology

Microbial Genetics
Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty: genes are contained in molecules of DNA Beadle and Tatum: a genes activity is related to protein function Translation of genetic information into protein explained Rates and mechanisms of genetic mutation investigated Control of genetic expression by cells described
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The Modern Age of Microbiology

Molecular Biology
Explanation of cell function at the molecular level Pauling proposed that gene sequences could
Provide understanding of evolutionary relationships/processes Establish taxonomic categories Identify microbes that have never been cultured

Woese determined cells belong to bacteria, archaea, or eukaryotes Cat scratch disease caused by unculturable organism
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The Modern Age of Microbiology

Recombinant DNA Technology


Genes in microbes, plants, and animals manipulated for practical applications Production of human blood-clotting factor by E. coli to aid hemophiliacs

Gene Therapy
Inserting a missing gene or repairing a defective one in humans by inserting desired gene into host cells

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The Modern Age of Microbiology

What Roles Do Microorganisms Play in the Environment?


Bioremediation uses living bacteria, fungi, and algae to detoxify polluted environments Recycling of chemicals such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur

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The Modern Age of Microbiology

How Do We Defend Against Disease?


Serology
The study of blood serum Blood contains chemicals and cells that fight infection

Immunology
The study of the bodys defense against specific pathogens

Chemotherapy
Fleming discovered penicillin Domagk discovered sulfa drugs
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Figure 1.20 Effects of penicillin on a bacterial lawn in a petri dish

Fungus colony (Penicillium)


Zone of inhibition Bacterial colonies (Staphylococcus)

The Modern Age of Microbiology

What Will the Future Hold?


Microbiology is built on asking and answering questions The more questions we answer, the more questions we have

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