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CHAPTER 27

THE BACTERIA
AND ARCHAEA

Prepared by
Brenda Leady, University of Toledo

1 reprod
Copyright (c) The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for
 One of the most prominent features of the
bacteria and archaea is their diversity
 Only 1% of newly discovered species
have been cultured in the lab
 Most species are known only as distinctive
molecular sequences

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 Prokaryotes
 Lack nuclei and other cellular features typical
of eukaryotes
 Domain Archaea
 Domain Bacteria (or Eubacteria)

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Domain Archaea
 Possess a number of features in common
with the eukaryotic nucleus and
cytoplasm, suggesting common ancestry
 Histones
 Membrane linkages different from those in
eukaryotes or bacteria
 More resistant to heat and other extreme
conditions

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Extremophiles
 Can occupy habitats with very high salt
content, acidity or methane levels, or high
temperatures
 Methanopyrus grows in deep-sea thermal
vents at 98°C
 Sulfolobus grows in hot springs at pH3
 Halophiles

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Domain Archaea
 Kingdom Crenarchaeota
 Sulfolobus and others that grow in extreme
hot or cold
 Kingdom Euryachaeota
 Methane producers and extreme halophiles
 Kingdom Korarchaeota
 Hot springs
 Kingdom Nanoarchaeota
 Hyperthermophiles
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Domain Bacteria
 50 or so bacterial phyla
 Structural and metabolic features of half
unknown
 Many more bacteria favor moderate
conditions

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Proteobacteria
 Amazing diversity of form and metabolism
 5 major subgroups
 α-proteobacteria
 Ancestors of mitochondria, Rhizobium,
Agrobacterium
 β-proteobacteria
 Nitrosomonas, Neisseria
 γ-proteobacteria
 Vibrio, Salmonella, Escherichia coli
δ -proteobacteria
 Myxobacteria, bdellovibrios
ε –proteobacteria
 Helicobacter 11
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Cyanobacteria
 Photosynthetic bacteria abundant in fresh
waters, oceans and wetlands and on
surfaces of arid soils
 Named for blue-green or cyan color
 The only prokaryotes that generate
oxygen as a product of photosynthesis
 Gave rise to plastids of eukaryotic algae
and plants
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 Display the greatest structural diversity
found among bacterial phyla
 Singlecells or colonies
 Filaments
 Essential ecological roles in producing
organic carbon and fixing nitrogen

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Horizontal gene transfer
 Also known as lateral gene transfer
 Movement of one or more genes from one
species to another
 Contrasts with vertical gene transfer from
parent to progeny
 Horizontal gene transfer increases genetic
diversity
 Influences the methods used to infer the
phylogeny of bacteria and archaea
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 Can result in large genetic changes
 At least 17% of the genes present in the
common human gut inhabitant E. coli
came from other bacteria
 Allowing new metabolic processes to be
acquired despite lacking the sexual
processes typical of eukaryotes.

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 Potential to interfere with human efforts to
deduce evolutionary relationships
 Molecular systematists employ ribosomal
RNA (rRNA) genes and other sequences
thought to less often move horizontally
and thus more accurately reflect patterns
of vertical inheritance

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Important concepts
 Bacteria and Archaea evolved from a common
ancestor
 Eukaryotic nucleus and cytoplasm likely arose in
an ancient archaeal organism
 Mitochondria and plastids originated from
proteobacteria and cyanobacteria by
endosymbiosis
 Bacteria and archaea are amazingly diverse, but
many phyla and species lack scientific names
because microbiologists know so little about
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Structure and motility
 Bacteria and archaea share small size,
rapid growth, and simple cellular structure
 Bacteria and archaea are 1–5 μm in
diameter
 (most plant and animal cells are between 10
and 100 μm in diameter)
 Small cell size limits the amount of
materials that can be stored within cells
but allows faster cell division
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Cellular structure
 Prokaryotic cells are
much simpler than
eukaryotic cells
 Thylakoids –
ingrowths of plasma
membrane that
increase surface area
for photosynthesis

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 Magnetosomes –
magnetite crystals
 Compass like
 Helps to locate low-
oxygen habitats

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 Other examples of cell structure
complexity
 Nucleus-like bodies from plasma membrane
invaginations
 Cellular proteins similar to eukaryotic tubulin

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Cell shape and arrangement
 5 major shapes
 Spheres – cocci
 Rods – bacilli
 Comma-shaped – vibrios
 Spiral-shaped – spirochaetes are flexible
while spirilli are rigid
 Some occur as single cells, pairs,
filaments
 Important diagnostic features
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Mucilage
 Composed of polysaccharides,
protein, or both
 Secreted from cells
 Functions
Evade host defenses
Hold colony together – biofilms
 Dental plaque
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Cell-wall structure
 Maintain cell shape and help protect
against attack
 Also help avoid lysis in hypotonic solutions
 Archaea and some bacteria use protein
 Most bacteria use peptidoglycan

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Gram stain
 Gram positive
 Relatively thick peptidoglycan layer
 Purple dye held in thick layer
 Cells are stained purple
 Vulnerable to penicillin that interferes in cell wall
synthesis
 Gram negative
 Less peptidoglycan and a thin outer envelope of
lipopolysaccharides
 Lose purple stain but retain final pink stain
 Cell are stained pink
 Resists penicillin and requires other antibiotics 29
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Motility
 Move to favorable conditions
 Respond to chemical signals
 Swim, twitch, glide or adjust floatation

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Flagella
 Swimming
 Different from
eukaryotic flagella
 Like an outboard boat
motor
 Differ in number and
location of flagella

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Pili
 Twitch or glide
 Threadlike cell
surface structures

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Gas vesicles
 Cyanobacteria
 Adjust buoyancy
 Move up or down in water column

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Binary Fission
 Divide by splitting in two
 Basis for widely used method of detecting
and counting bacteria in samples
 Place measured volume of sample into plastic
dishes of agar
 Single cells will form visible colonies
 Can also use fluorescent dye that binds
bacterial DNA to directly count bacteria

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Surviving harsh conditions
 Akinetes
 Develop when stressed
 Can germinate into metabolically active cells
under favorable conditions
 Aquatic filamentous cyanobacteria
 Endospores
 Tough protein coat
 Amazingly long dormant span
 Bacillus anthracis, Clostridium botulinum,
Clostridium tetani
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Obtaining genetic material
 Transduction
 Via viral vector
 Transformation
 Via uptake of DNA from environment
 Conjugation
 Via mating with another cell

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Nutrition and metabolism
 More diverse types of metabolism than
any other group of organisms
 Can be classified by
 Nutrition
 Response to oxygen
 Presence of specialized metabolic processes

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Nutrition classification
 Autotrophs
 Produce all or most of their own organic compounds
 Photoautotroph – uses light as energy source for
synthesis of organic compounds from CO2 or
H2S
 Chemoautotrophs – use energy obtained from
chemical modification of inorganic compounds to
synthesize organic compounds

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 Heterotrophs - organisms that require at
least one organic compound, and often
more
 Photoheterotroph – able to use light
energy to make ATP but they must take in
organic compounds from the environment
 Chemoorganotroph – must obtain organic
molecules for both energy and carbon
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Classification by oxygen response

 Obligate aerobes – require oxygen


 Facultative aerobes – can use oxygen or
not
 Obligate anaerobes – cannot tolerate
oxygen
 Aerotolerant anaerobes – do not use
oxygen but are not poisoned by it

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Classification by special metabolism

 Diazotrophs – conduct nitrogen fixation


 Enzyme nitrogenase converts inorganic
nitrogen gas into ammonia
 Plants depend on ammonia to make nitrogen
containing compounds
 Rhizobium
 Heterocysts – specialized cells

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Gene Expression Studies Revealed How
Cyanobacteria Fix Nitrogen in Hot Springs
 Thermal pools display multicolored microbial
mats
 Composed of diverse nutrition types
 In Yellowstone, Synechococcus are the only
photoautotrophs
 High temperatures allowed few nitrogen
fixers
 Synechococcus was producing its own fixed
nitrogen
 Tracked process using gene expression
Ecological roles
 Carbon cycle
 Producers synthesize organic compounds
used by other organisms as food
 Decomposers (saprobes) break down dead
organisms to release minerals for reuse
 Methanogens make methane
 Methanotrophs consume methane

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Symbiotic roles
 Mutualism
 Association beneficial to both partners
 Many aquatic protists depend on bacterial
partners for vitamins
 Parasitism
 One partner benefits at the expense of the
other
 Pathogens – cholera, leprosy, tetanus,
pneumonia, Lyme Disease, etc.
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Industrial and other roles
 Dairy products (cheese and yogurt)
 Vinegar, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins,
insulin, vaccines, antibiotics, etc.
 Useful in treating wastewater, industrial effluent,
and other harmful substances
 Bioremediation

 Agriculture – Bacillus thuringiensis produces Bt-


toxins

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The Daly Experiments Revealed How Deinococcus
radiodurans Avoids Radiation Damage

 Unusually resistant to chemical mutagens


and nuclear radiation
 Radiation-resistant bacteria tended to have
higher levels of manganese
 Exact mechanism of protection not yet
established