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Microbes: Bacteria

Microbes: Bacteria

Author: Amanda Soderlind

This lesson explains the existence and importance bacteria.

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Bacteria are single celled organisms that are prokaryotes. Prokaryotic organisms lack a nucleus and many of the organelles found in other cells. They do still, however, contain genetic information, cytoplasm, ribosomes and a cell membrane. Bacteria belong to the kingdom Monera. Some bacteria move by means of a flagella which is a whip-like tail while other types of bacteria must rely on air, water or other means to move them along. Some bacteria are autotrophs and some are heterotrophs.


Bacteria can sometimes be harmful but do have many important roles in nature as well:

  1. produce oxygen (done by photosynthetic bacteria)
  2. produce food (necessary for production of cheese, milk..)
  3. decomposers (break down organic materials and recycle it into the soil)
  4. used in oil spills to clean up oil
  5. medicines
  6. some bacteria are necessary in your body and have specific functions to keep you healthy

Bacteria Shapes