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  1. Microbiology
    The study of micro organisms
  2. Prokaryote
    any of the typically unicellular microorganisms that lack a distinct nucleus and membrane-bound organelles and that are classified as a kingdom (Prokaryotae syn. Monera) or into two domains (Bacteria and Archaea) — compare archaea, bacterium, eukaryote.
  3. Eukaryote
    an organism consisting of a cell or cells in which the genetic material is DNA in the form of chromosomes contained within a distinct nucleus. Eukaryotes include all living organisms other than the eubacteria and archaebacteria.
  4. Bacteria
    a member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms that have cell walls but lack organelles and an organized nucleus, including some that can cause disease.
  5. Archaea
    another term for archaebacteria. Any of a group of microorganisms that resemble bacteria but are different from them in certain aspects of their chemical structure, such as the composition of their cell walls. Archaea usually live in extreme, often very hot or salty environments, such as hot mineral springs or deep-sea hydrothermal vents, but some are also found in animal digestive systems. The archaea are considered a separate kingdom in some classifications, but a division of the prokaryotes (Monera) in others. Some scientists believe that archaea were the earliest forms of cellular life. Also called archaebacterium.
  6. Eukarya
    Eukaryotes belong to the taxon Eukarya or Eukaryota. The defining feature that sets eukaryotic cells apart from prokaryotic cells (Bacteria and Archaea) is that they have membrane-bound organelles, especially the nucleus, which contains the genetic material, and is enclosed by the nuclear envelope.
  7. Virus
    an infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host.
  8. Genome
    • the haploid set of chromosomes in a gamete or microorganism, or in each cell of a multicellular organism.
    • the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism.
  9. Bacterial chromosome
    A circular bacterial chromosome is a bacterial chromosome in the form of a molecule of circular DNA. Unlike the linear DNA of most eukaryotes, typical bacterial chromosomes are circular. Most bacterial chromosomes contain a circular DNA molecule – there are no free ends to the DNA.
  10. Haploid
    (of a cell or nucleus) having a single set of unpaired chromosomes.
  11. Diploid
    (of a cell or nucleus) containing two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.
  12. Nucleoid
    The nucleoid (meaning nucleus-like) is an irregularly-shaped region within the cell of a prokaryote that contains all or most of the genetic material, called genophore. In contrast to the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell, it is not surrounded by a nuclear membrane.
  13. Nucleus
    a specialized, usually spherical mass of protoplasm encased in a double membrane, and found in most living eukaryotic cells, directing their growth, metabolism, and reproduction, and functioning in the transmission of genic characters.
  14. Plasmid
    a genetic structure in a cell that can replicate independently of the chromosomes, typically a small circular DNA strand in the cytoplasm of a bacterium or protozoan. Plasmids are much used in the laboratory manipulation of genes.
  15. Binary fission
    ("division in half") is a kind of asexual reproduction. It is the most common form of reproduction in prokaryotes and occurs in some single-celled eukaryotes. After replicating its genetic material, the cell divides into two nearly equal sized daughter cells.
  16. Mitosis
    a type of cell division that results in two daughter cells each having the same number and kind of chromosomes as the parent nucleus, typical of ordinary tissue growth.
  17. Meiosis
    a type of cell division that results in four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell, as in the production of gametes and plant spores.
  18. Phylogenetics
    Phylogenetics is the branch of life science concerned with the analysis of molecular sequencing data to study evolutionary relationships among groups of organisms.
  19. Endosymbiosis
    symbiosis in which one of the symbiotic organisms lives inside the other.
  20. Chemoorganotroph
    An organism that depends on organic chemicals for its energy and carbon. Synonym(s): chemoheterotroph.
  21. Chemolithotroph
    Many prokaryotes, Bacteria as well as Archaea, obtain their energy from the oxidation of reduced inorganic compounds such as hydrogen, ammonia, nitrite, sulfide, elemental sulfur, hydrogen and Fe(II) ions.
  22. Phototroph
    (of an organism) obtaining energy from sunlight to synthesize organic compounds for nutrition.
  23. Heterotroph
    an organism deriving its nutritional requirements from complex organic substances.
  24. Autotroph
    an organism that is able to form nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide.
  25. Mutualism
    the doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being. symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved.
  26. Molecule
    a group of atoms bonded together, representing the smallest fundamental unit of a chemical compound that can take part in a chemical reaction.
  27. Covalent bond
    A covalent bond is a chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. These electron pairs are known as shared pairs or bonding pairs, and the stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms, when they share electrons, is known as covalent bonding.
  28. Hydrogen bond
    a weak bond between two molecules resulting from an electrostatic attraction between a proton in one molecule and an electronegative atom in the other.
  29. Van der Waals force
    weak, short-range electrostatic attractive forces between uncharged molecules, arising from the interaction of permanent or transient electric dipole moments.
  30. Hydrophobic interaction
    The tendency of nonpolar molecules in a polar solvent (usually water) to interact with one another is called the hydrophobic effect. The interactions between the nonpolar molecules are called hydrophobic interactions.
  31. Carbohydrate
    any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch, and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water (2:1) and typically can be broken down to release energy in the animal body.
  32. Glycosidic bond
    In chemistry, a glycosidic bond or glycosidic linkage is a type of covalent bond that joins a carbohydrate (sugar) molecule to another group, which may or may not be another carbohydrate. Formation of ethyl glucoside : Glucose and ethanol combine to form ethyl glucoside and water.
  33. Lipid
    any of a class of organic compounds that are fatty acids or their derivatives and are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. They include many natural oils, waxes, and steroids.
  34. Nucleic acid
    a complex organic substance present in living cells, especially DNA or RNA, whose molecules consist of many nucleotides linked in a long chain.
  35. Protein (primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures)
    any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds that consist of large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, collagen, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.
  36. Peptide bond
    A peptide bond (amide bond) is a covalent chemical bond formed between two amino acid molecules.
  37. Denaturation
    Denaturation is a process in which proteins or nucleic acids lose the quaternary structure, tertiary structure and secondary structure which is present in their native state, by application of some external stress or compound such as a strong acid or base, a concentrated inorganic salt, an organic solvent
  38. Magnification
    the action or process of magnifying something or being magnified, especially visually.
  39. Aberration
    Chromosome aberrations are departures from the normal set of chromosomes either for an individual or from a species.
  40. Distortion
    Chromosome aberrations are departures from the normal set of chromosomes either for an individual or from a species.
  41. Resolution
    By using more lenses microscopes can magnify by a larger amount, but this doesn't always mean that more detail can be seen. The amount of detail depends on the resolving power of a microscope, which is the smallest separation at which two separate objects can be distinguished (or resolved)
  42. Contrast
    the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.
  43. Simple stain
    In a simple staining technique, a basic, cationic dye is flooded across a sample, adding color to the cells. Before we move on, let's define the word cationic. A cation is simply a positively charged ion. The molecules that make up basic dyes have a positive charge.
  44. Differential stain
    Differential Staining is a staining process which uses more than one chemical stain. Using multiple stains can better differentiate between different microorganisms or structures/cellular components of a single organism.
  45. Phase contrast microscopy
    Phase-contrast microscopy is an optical-microscopy technique that converts phase shifts in light passing through a transparent specimen to brightness changes in the image. Phase shifts themselves are invisible, but become visible when shown as brightness variations.
  46. Dark field microscopy
    a type of light microscopy that produces brightly illuminated objects on a dark background.
  47. Fluorescence microscopy
    A fluorescence microscope is an optical microscope that uses fluorescence and phosphorescence instead of, or in addition to, reflection and absorption to study properties of organic or inorganic substances.
  48. Differential interference microscopy
    Differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy, also known as Nomarski interference contrast (NIC) or Nomarski microscopy, is an optical microscopy technique used to enhance the contrast in unstained, transparent samples.
  49. Atomic force microscopy
    Definition of atomic force microscope. : an instrument used for mapping the atomic-scale topography of a surface by means of the repulsive electronic forces between the surface and the tip of a microscope probe moving above the surface —abbreviation AFM.
  50. Transmission electron microscopy
    Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a microscopy technique in which a beam of electrons is transmitted through an ultra-thin specimen, interacting with the specimen as it passes through it.
  51. Scanning electron microscopy
    an electron microscope in which the surface of a specimen is scanned by a beam of electrons that are reflected to form an image.
  52. Macronutrient
    • a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular.
    • a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet.
    • a chemical element (e.g., potassium, magnesium, calcium) required in large amounts for plant growth and development.
  53. Micronutrient
    a chemical element or substance required in trace amounts for the normal growth and development of living organisms.
  54. Defined media
    A chemically defined medium is a growth medium suitable for the in vitro cell culture of human or animal cells in which all of the chemical components are known.
  55. Undefined media
    An undefined medium (also known as a basal or complex medium) is a medium that contains: a carbon source such as glucose for bacterial growth. water. various salts needed for bacterial growth. a source of amino acids and nitrogen (e.g., beef, yeast extract)
  56. Selective and differential media
    Selective and differential media are used to isolate or identify particular organisms. Selective media allow certain types of organisms to grow, and inhibit the growth of other organisms. The selectivity is accomplished in several ways.
  57. Liquid media
    A growth medium or culture medium is a liquid or gel designed to support the growth of microorganisms or cells, or small plants like the moss Physcomitrella patens. There are different types of media for growing different types of cells.
  58. Solid media
    Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as agar or gelatin.
  59. Aseptic technique
    Aseptic technique is a method designed to prevent contamination from microorganisms. It involves applying the strictest rules and utilizing what is known about infection prevention to minimize the risks that you'll experience an infection.
  60. Morphology (Coccus, Rod, Spirillum, Spirochete, Filamentous, Appendaged)
    • the study of the forms of things, in particular.
    • the branch of biology that deals with the form of living organisms, and with relationships between their structures.
  61. Cytoplasmic membrane
    The cell membrane (also known as the plasma membrane or cytoplasmic membrane) is a biological membrane that separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment. The cell membrane is selectively permeable to ions and organic molecules and controls the movement of substances in and out of cells.
  62. Phospholipid bilayer
    a two-layered arrangement of phosphate and lipid molecules that form a cell membrane, the hydrophobic lipid ends facing inward and the hydrophilic phosphate ends facing outward. Also called lipid bilayer.
  63. Sterol
    any of a group of naturally occurring unsaturated steroid alcohols, typically waxy solids.
  64. Hopanoid
    Hopanoids are natural pentacyclic compounds (containing five rings) based on the chemical structure of hopane. The first known triterpenoid of the class, hydroxyhopanone, was isolated by two chemists at The National Gallery, London working on the chemistry of dammar gum, a natural resin used as a varnish for paintings.
  65. Cell wall
    a rigid layer of polysaccharides lying outside the plasma membrane of the cells of plants, fungi, and bacteria. In the algae and higher plants, it consists mainly of cellulose.
  66. Peptidoglycan
    a substance forming the cell walls of many bacteria, consisting of glycosaminoglycan chains interlinked with short peptides.
  67. Flagellum
    a slender threadlike structure, especially a microscopic whiplike appendage that enables many protozoa, bacteria, spermatozoa, etc., to swim.
  68. Gliding motility
    Gliding motility is an energy-requiring process that allows bacteria to move over a solid surface. Several different groups of microbes are capable of gliding motility including Myxococcus, Neisseria, Pseudomonas, Cytophaga, and Flavobacterium.
  69. Gas vesicle
    are rigid hollow structures found in five phyla of the Bacteria and two groups of the Archaea, but mostly restricted to planktonic microorganisms, in which they provide buoyancy.
  70. Endospore
    • a resistant asexual spore that develops inside some bacteria cells.
    • the inner layer of the membrane or wall of some spores and pollen grains
  71. Divisome
    Within the Escherichia coli divisome is a conserved subcomplex of inner membrane proteins, the FtsB/FtsL/FtsQ complex, which is necessary for linking the upstream division proteins, which are predominantly cytoplasmic, with the downstream division proteins, which are predominantly periplasmic.
  72. Autolysin
    autolysin au·tol·y·sin (ô-tŏl'ĭ-sĭn, ô'tə-lī'sĭn) n. A substance, such as an enzyme, that is capable of destroying the cells or tissues of an organism within which it is produced. Also called autocytolysin.
  73. Bactoprenol
    Bactoprenol is a lipid synthesized by three different species of lactobacilli. Bactoprenol phosphate transports NAM and NAG across the cell membrane during the synthesis of peptidoglycan. Bacitracin inhibits the recycling of pyrophosphobactoprenol to the inner leaflet.[2]
  74. Transpeptidation
    Medical Definition of transpeptidation. : a chemical reaction (as the reversible conversion of one peptide to another by a protease) in which an amino acid residue or a peptide residue is transferred from one amino compound to another.
  75. Growth
    the process of increasing in physical size.
  76. Generation
    all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.
  77. Generation time
    In population biology and demography, the generation time is the average time between two consecutive generations in the lineages of a population.
  78. Exponential growth
    growth whose rate becomes ever more rapid in proportion to the growing total number or size.
  79. Growth rate
    The population growth rate is the rate at which the number of individuals in a population increases in a given time period as a fraction of the initial population. Global human population growth amounts to around 75 million annually, or 1.1% per year.
  80. Growth cycle (lag phase, exponential phase, stationary phase, death phase)
    • lag phase (A), log phase or exponential phase (B), stationary phase (C), and death phase (D).During lag phase, bacteria adapt themselves to growth conditions. It is the period where the individual bacteria are maturing and not yet able to divide. During the lag phase of the bacterial growth cycle, synthesis of RNA, enzymes and other molecules occurs. The log phase (sometimes called the logarithmic phase or the exponential phase) is a period characterized by cell doubling.[4] The number of new bacteria appearing per unit time is proportional to the present population. If growth is not limited, doubling will continue at a constant rate so both the number of cells and the rate of population increase doubles with each consecutive time period. For this type of exponential growth, plotting the natural logarithm of cell number against time produces a straight line. The slope of this line is the specific growth rate of the organism, which is a measure of the number of divisions per cell per unit time.[4] The actual rate of this growth (i.e. the slope of the line in the figure) depends upon the growth conditions, which affect the frequency of cell division events and the probability of both daughter cells surviving. Under controlled conditions, cyanobacteria can double their population four times a day.[5] Exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely, however, because the medium is soon depleted of nutrients and enriched with wastes.
    • The stationary phase is often due to a growth-limiting factor such as the depletion of an essential nutrient, and/or the formation of an inhibitory product such as an organic acid. Stationary phase results from a situation in which growth rate and death rate are equal. The number of new cells created is limited by the growth factor and as a result the rate of cell growth matches the rate of cell death. The result is a “smooth,” horizontal linear part of the curve during the stationary phase.
    • At death phase (decline phase), bacteria die. This could be caused by lack of nutrients, environmental temperature above or below the tolerance band for the species, or other injurious conditions.
  81. Total cell count
    number of cells in a given area or volume. The definition information for total cell count is provided by Stedman's. You can search our medical dictionary here. Medical Searches Navigation.
  82. Viable count
    Total Viable Count (TVC) gives a quantitative idea about the presence of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mold in a sample. To be specific, the count actually represents the number of colony forming units (cfu) per g (or per ml) of the sample.
  83. Turbidity
    Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.
  84. Cardinal temperatures
    cardinal temperatures. Minimum and maximum temperatures that define limits of growth and development of an organism, and an optimum temperature at which growth proceeds with greatest rapidity. Cardinal temperatures may vary with the stage of development.Jan 26, 2012
  85. Aerobe (obligate, facultative, microaerophilic)
    • Obligate aerobes need oxygen to grow. In a process known as cellular respiration, these organisms use oxygen to oxidize substrates (for example sugars and fats) and generate energy.
    • Facultative anaerobes use oxygen if it is available, but also have anaerobic methods of energy production.
    • Microaerophiles require oxygen for energy production, but are harmed by atmospheric concentrations of oxygen (21% O2).
    • Aerotolerant anaerobes do not use oxygen but are not harmed by it.
  86. Anaerobe (aerotolerant, obligate)
    • Facultative anaerobes - these are bacteria that are capable of growing in the absence of oxygen. Their energy comes from fermentation. But if oxygen is present they can derive their energy by aerobic respiration.
    • Obligate anaerobes - need environments where there is no oxygen as they cannot grow in its presence. Some obligate anaerobes are even harmed by oxygen.
    • Aerotolerant bacteria - do not need oxygen to grow, but can survive in its presence.
  87. Compatible solute
    compatible solutes are small molecules that act as osmolytes and help organisms survive extreme osmotic stress. In plants, their accumulation can increase survival under stress e.g. drought. Examples of compatible solutes include betaines, amino acids, and the sugar trehalose.
  88. Sterilization
    sterilization definition. The removal of all microorganisms and other pathogens from an object or surface by treating it with chemicals or subjecting it to high heat or radiation. Sterilization also refers to procedures that result in infertility.
  89. In vivo
    (of a process) performed or taking place in a living organism.
  90. In vitro
    (of a process) performed or taking place in a test tube, culture dish, or elsewhere outside a living organism.
  91. Decimal reduction time
    In microbiology, D-value refers to decimal reduction time and is the time required at a given temperature to kill 90% of the exposed microorganisms.
  92. Thermal death time
    Thermal death time is a concept used to determine how long it takes to kill a specific bacteria at a specific temperature.
  93. Autoclave
    a strong, heated container used for chemical reactions and other processes using high pressures and temperatures, e.g., steam sterilization.
  94. Pasteurization (flash vs. bulk)
    partial sterilization of a substance and especially a liquid (as milk) at a temperature and for a period of exposure that destroys objectionable organisms without major chemical alteration of the substance.
  95. Radiation sterilization (microwave, UV, ionizing)
    There are 2 general types of radiation used for sterilization, ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is the use of short wavelength, high-intensity radiation to destroy microorganisms.
  96. Filter sterilization (depth, membrane, nucleopore)
    The physical removal of microorganisms from liquid that may be destroyed by heat (such as blood serum, enzyme solutions, antibiotics, and some bacteriological media and medium constituents) by filtering through materials having relatively small pores.
  97. Antimicrobial agent
    An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. Antimicrobial medicines can be grouped according to the microorganisms they act primarily against. For example, antibacterials are used against bacteria and antifungals are used against fungi.
  98. Bacteriostatic
    A bacteriostatic agent or bacteriostat, abbreviated Bstatic, is a biological or chemical agent that stops bacteria from reproducing, while not necessarily killing them otherwise. Depending on their application, bacteriostatic antibiotics, disinfectants, antiseptics and preservatives can be distinguished.
  99. Bacteriocidal
    Bactericidal antibiotics kill bacteria directly, and bacteriostatic antibiotics stop bacteria from growing. Another important thing to remember about antibiotics is that they don't all work against all types of bacteria.
  100. Bacteriolytic
    destruction or dissolution of bacterial cells.
  101. Minimum inhibitory concentration
    In microbiology, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) is the lowest concentration of an antimicrobial that will inhibit the visible growth of a microorganism after overnight incubation.
  102. Antiseptic
    of, relating to, or denoting substances that prevent the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.
  103. Disinfectant
    a chemical liquid that destroys bacteria.
  104. Sterilant
    • an agent used to destroy microorganisms; a disinfectant.
    • a chemical agent used to destroy pests and diseases in the soil, especially fungi and nematodes.
  105. Chemotherapeutic agent
    • an agent used to destroy microorganisms; a disinfectant.
    • a chemical agent used to destroy pests and diseases in the soil, especially fungi and nematodes.
  106. Growth factor analog
    chemicals which are structurally similar to a bacterial growth factor but which do not fulfill its metabolic function in the cell. Some are bacteriostatic and some are bactericidal.
  107. Quinolones
    any of a class of antibiotics used in treating a variety of mainly Gram-negative infections, and thought to be responsible for antibiotic resistance in some microbes.
  108. Antibiotic
    a medicine (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms.
  109. Β-lactam antibiotics
    β-lactam antibiotics (beta-lactam antibiotics) are a broad class of antibiotics, consisting of all antibiotic agents that contain a β-lactam ring in their molecular structures. This includes penicillin derivatives (penams), cephalosporins (cephems), monobactams, and carbapenems.
  110. Tetracyclines
    any of a large group of antibiotics with a molecular structure containing four rings.
  111. Aminoglycosides
    of aminoglycoside. : any of a group of antibiotics (as streptomycin and neomycin) that inhibit bacterial protein synthesis and are active especially against gram-negative bacteria.
  112. Universal common ancestor
  113. Koch's postulate
    Koch's postulates are as follows: The bacteria must be present in every case of the disease. The bacteria must be isolated from the host with the disease and grown in pure culture. The specific disease must be reproduced when a pure culture of the bacteria is inoculated into a healthy susceptible host.
  114. Gram positive vs Gram negative bacteria
    In gram-positive bacteria, the S-layer is attached to the peptidoglycan layer (in gram-negative bacteria, the S-layer is attached directly to the outer membrane). Specific to gram-positive bacteria is the presence of teichoic acids in the cell wall.
  115. MreB
    MreB is a protein found in bacteria that has been identified as a homologue of actin, as indicated by similarities in tertiary structure and conservation of active site peptide sequence. The conservation of protein structure suggests the common ancestry of the cytoskeletal elements formed by actin, found in eukaryotes, and MreB, found in prokaryotes.[1] Indeed, recent studies have found that MreB proteins polymerize to form filaments that are similar to actin microfilaments. It has been shown to form multilayer sheets comprising diagonally interwoven filaments in the presence of ATP or GTP.[2]
  116. Coccus
    A coccus (plural cocci, from the Latin coccinus (scarlet) and derived from the Greek kokkos (berry)) is any microorganism (usually bacteria)[1] whose overall shape is spherical or nearly spherical.
  117. Bacillus
    bacillus (plural bacilli) is a rod-shaped bacterium. Although Bacillus, capitalized and italicized, specifically refers to the genus, the word bacillus (plural bacilli) may also be used to describe any rod-shaped bacterium.
  118. Spiral bacteria
    These form the third major bacterial cell morphology.[11][12] Spiral bacteria can be sub-classified as spirilla, spirochetes, or vibrios based on the number of twists per cell, cell thickness, cell flexibility, and motility.
Card Set
For the first exam of Microbiology, Vocab for Microbiology
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