. Chemical Requirements for Growth
A living microbes are made up C, N, P, O, S, H, K, Fe, Mg,
and Ca. These elements must be obtained in quite large qualities In addition,
microbes require some in smaller amounts (micronutrients) e.g. Mn, Zn,
Co, Mo etc..
Modes of microbial nutrition.
Microbes can be classified based on how they obtain their carbon
Gain there Carbon from organic the compounds they utilize
Chemoheterotrophs use organic compounds for energy and
carbon just like us.
Photoheterotrophs organisms that can use light for energy
("photo") and organic compounds ("hetero") for carbon
Can obtain Carbon from non-organic sources (i.e. fix carbon dioxide
and turn it into organic molecules) Sometimes called self feeders.
Photoautotrophs get energy from light energy like plants,
(e.g.. cyanobacteria and many other bacteria).
Chemoautotrophs use chemical energy and fix CO2
(e.g. sulfur oxidizing and nitrifiers) "Chemolithoautotrophs" is a term
sometimes used for chemoautotrophs that use inorganic compounds for energy,
Require a range of vitamins performed peptides, nucleotides
and other specific growth factors
Mildly fastidious organisms can be grown on Nutrient Agar or
More fastidious organisms require more complex mixture and
need Enriched media. Such as Blood Agar . milk or liver broth.
Very fastidious organisms may need living cell to grow on.
How do microbes feed?
Bacteria, Fungi feed by absorbing chemicals from their environment.
Everything that gets into the cell must enter via diffusion (e.g. O2,
H2O, CO2) or via some sort of
transport protein or channel. In contrast, most protozoa can phagocytize
chunks of material (including whole bacterial cells) and digest them in
vacuoles that act like little stomachs.
Diffusion - small or uncharged molecules can diffuse
across the plasma membrane.
Facilitated diffusion is just diffusion that utilizes a specific
trans-membrane protein (a permease)
Active Transport – utilizes transporter and use ATP
to take up nutrients against the diffusion gradient
Microbes consume polymers
and insoluble substrates by breaking them down outside their cells using
enzymes released into their surroundings:
The enzymes released by various bacteria can be used to identify
the bacteria and will determine the type of food it can use
Bacillus produce extracellular amylase
Cytophaga produces extracellular cellulases
Pseudomonus produces many enzyme and can make a lot
of changes to food ( food spoilage)
Compounds are used to capture metal irons
"biosurfactants" are extracellular compounds produced by microbes
that eat oils.