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BACTERIAL CLASSIFICATION

Bacteriology is referred as the study of bacteria. Antony Van Leeuwenhoek first discovered bacteria in 1675.

Plant-like characteristics of Bacteria
Bacteria have their own characteristics which make it possible to differentiate them from other living organisms. They are regarded as living because of the following characters: 1. 2. 3. 4. Microscopic Unicellular Plants Reproduction by fission

Following are the plant like characteristics of bacteria: 1. Plants are differentiated from animals on the basis of well defined cell wall. Bacteria also possess a definite rigid cell wall. The cell wall is usually made of muramic acid (resembles cyanobacteria). 2. Certain type of bacteria grows in filaments- a feature of certain species of algae. 3. The autotrophic mode of nutrition. They produce inorganic material such as carbon dioxide and water as the products of respiration. 4. Mode of absorption of food is in soluble form through cell wall. 5. The general architecture of the bacterial cell and the method of reproduction resemble those of Thallophytes. 6. They produce all kinds of amino acids from inorganic nitrogen.

Principles of Bacterial Classification
1. Purpose: there must be a reason or purpose for making the classifications, hence there can be several classification of the same objects having a different purpose. 2. Subdivisions: subdivision may be of different sizes and need not to be equally spaced. It may not be clear-cut. 3. Uniformity of units: there should be some parallelism in subdivisions with that of whole group i.e., not contradicting; e.g., subdivision of pneumococci into serological types depending on the chemical nature of the capsular polysaccharides etc. 4. Characterization: a unit cannot be defined until it has been characterized after obtaining the facts from the laboratory. It is the study of morphology, cytology, physiology, chemical make-up, enzymic constituents, genetic and other factors of the organism. The details yielded from these studies vary from different organisms to organisms. 5. Importance of the characters: there are certain important characters on which the classification is based and are called distinguishing characters. Sneath is of the opinion that all characters are equally important. He applied this concept in his adansonian system. On the other hand, Kauffmann does not agree to take all the features of equal merit. This is known as Anti-Adansonian System. Cowman as a compromise, suggested that in

.. Minimal difference classifications: this is applied when dealing with a limit range of bacteria. Kinds of Classification 1. b. Here the taxonomist takes only few characters into consideration that are enough for him to distinguish between the organisms in water. 2. Classifications of Convenience: Some taxonomists do not bother much about the way to divide organisms as long as the same symbols and names are used. Such classification depends on the ability. methyl red. . pathologists classify medical bacteria according to disease and pathogenicity. The characters of the large number of strains should be determined. This type of classification is well accepted by diagnosticians because they are interested in that classifications which can provide immediate characters that enable them to identify organisms. 3. bacteriology of water. but in identification we can put different weighing on different characters. 2.. There are two elements in classification: 1. sugar reactions and some biochemical characters. e.. That is why we get different types of classifications. All bacteria not causing disease are regarded as contaminants and so dismissed.g.g. and these follow the above principles. skill and knowledge of microbiologist. Classification by Computer: this is based on statistical principles and is a numerical classification.classification one should give equal weight to all characters. 4.g. All characters should be treated as if they have equal value i. Classification by Discipline: bacteria can be classified according to different disciplines e. Classification by Statistical Methods: This is done by numerical taxonomy and should fulfil three points: a. The results of these tests are recorded by positive or negative signs using IMVIC for indole. 5. The object to be classified. Many characters should be examined and as far as possible. It is given by a separate name because the computer may give different results from those of numerical methods and it is only successful when the right programme is chosen. e.e. they should be given equal weight to classification. c. morphology. these characters should not be selected. Voges-Proskauar and citrate utilization tests.