Benefitsand Harm of Microbial Life Forms


HarmfulArchaea species such as Methanosphaera stadmanae found in the humancolon, are associated with induction of monocyte-derived dendriticcell maturation and strong pro-inflammatory that leads toinflammatory bowel disease in patients. According to (Horz &ampConrads 2012), Methanogenic Archaea such as Methanobrevibactersmithii, Mathanosphaera, and Methanoscarcina, found in the humanmouth, have been associated with subgingival dental plaque.

UsefulArchaea such as Extremophile Archaea are a source of enzymes thathave a diverse range of uses. Thermostable DNA polymerases, made fromPyrococcus furiosus, is used as a simple and rapid technique for DNAcloning. Extremophiles are found in regions of extreme acidity andalkalinity.


Pathogenicbacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus found on the human skin causesskin infections, pneumonia, and infections of the heart valves.Neisseria gonorrhea, found in the urethra of the reproductive system,is also a harmful fungus that causes gonorrhea.

Somebacteria, however, plays a positive role. Non-pathogenic bacteriasuch as Staphylococcus epidermis found on the human skin, in thenose, mouth, and throat, plays a part of normal skin flora.Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in the small and large intestineplays a role in healthy intestinal flora.


Someprotists are harmful. Plasmodium protist, commonly known as malariaparasites that use mosquitoes as intermittent host infects human withmalaria. African sickness is also associated with Trypanosoma protistspread by tsetse fly causes sleeping sickness. Eating foodcontaminated by fecal material causes giardiasis associated withGiardia protist.

Otherprotists have a significant role in human life. Slime mold, a groupof protists, found on algae, are used in technology. Physarumpolycephalum has tubes are used in computing technology to processinformation and testing and diagnosis of medical samples.


Harmfulfungi such as potato’s late blight (Phytophthora infestans), wheatblack stem rust (Puccinia graminis), rice brown spot (Helmintosporiumoryzae), causes diseases to important food crops. An infestation ofAspergillus, Cercospora, and Cryptococcus mycosis induces animal andhuman diseases.

Fungihave an important role in human life. Saccharomyces cerevisiae,commonly referred to as yeast, is used in the production of foodproducts, beverages. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an enzyme derived fromthe mold (Neurospora crassa), is used in genome sequence.


Thanks,Teng. Lots of great examples of microbes in your post. You mentionedslime molds and the benefits they play in biotechnology. They are aninteresting group of organisms. Slime molds have been responsible fordestroying a lot of crops leading to famine in the past. The potatofamine was because slime mold destroyed the potato crop for a coupleof years in a row. Here is a video about a slime mold:


Hello,thank you for your response. I agree with you that despite slimemolds being unicellular organisms, they have a lot of impact on theecosystem. As is evident in the video, these micro-organisms canaggregate and form multicellular reproductive structures. It is alsofascinating how these organisms respond to decline in food shortages.When food is scarce, they hibernate until the next season when thesame will be in plenty. This behavior is also witnessed in some ofthe micro-organisms that I have named in my post like types ofbacteria. A majority of them require specific PH and temperatures tocarry out its activities properly. When any of the conditions arelacking, they fail to carry out their normal activities likeproduction. This happens when there are extremely low temperatures.Bacteria that can withstand very low PH are called Acidophiles. Someof the most common pathogenic bacteria associated with foodcontamination and are Acidophiles and include Salmonella species andcertain strains of Escherichia coli.




Methanococcus- these archaea is an extremophile that lives on hot vents in theocean. They produce the gas methane, which is used as fuel. Thiscould also be dangerous as it is a greenhouse gas.

Sulfolobus- This is a type of archaea that grow in volcanic hot springs andmetabolize sulfur for energy. This can be hazardous for humansbecause sulfur mine runoff can become tainted with the sulfurbyproducts and pollute drinking water.


BifidobacteriumLongum – This bacteria produces a hostile environment in theintestines of babies. The environment it produces is not hostile tothe host, however, but other bad kinds of bacteria.

Staphylococcus- Is a common bacteria found on the skin that can sometimes causeimpetigo, which is a very contagious skin infection around the mouthand nose.


Diatoms- These are protists that produce a shell used in cleaning orfiltering products such as diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth canbe used to filter metal shavings out of oil so it can be reused.

GiardiaProtozoa – These protists can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea inhumans. The protozoa are found in improperly treated drinking water,or water in lakes and slow moving streams. They function by becomingparasitic after ingestion.


Penicillium- This is a fungus that is used to produce penicillin, which is animportant antibiotic. Can also be used to make cheese, which I thinkwe all can agree is super delicious.

Candida- This is a type of yeast that normally lives in our throats,digestive tracts, and in the vagina. It can cause an overgrowth whichcan produce thrush.



HiCarl, I liked your post. Indeed, not all the micro-organismsinhabiting the earth cause diseases. Some such as Fungi are used inthe processes of fermentation to make Yeast and are thus important innumerous industrial operations. Just to add to what you have written,Fungi and Bacteria also play a very critical role in the process ofdecomposition which leads to the release of essential nutrients intothe land. Additionally, you have indicated that Archaea can withstandvery high temperatures and are thus able to live in hot vents in theocean. From my research, organisms which can survive such harshconditions like very high temperatures are very hard to destroy(Lupetti et al. 2014). Current methods that can be used to managesuch microbes may require the usage of certain chemicals andradiation. Lastly, one of the leading cause of infections in theUnited States and other countries around the world is GiardiaProtozoa. Many people often expose themselves to these microbes evenwithout knowing in streams, rivers, and through contaminated drinkingwater. As an intervention, I would recommend that one wearsappropriate protective gears especially during the rainy season andwhen walking in stagnant waters. It should be mandatory that oneboils drinking water before finally consuming it to kill all themicrobes that may be present.


Archaealive in extreme environments high pressures, salt concentrations andtemperatures. Archaea is found in human intestines and is moreprevalent in people with IBS. This microbe can contribute to humanobesity. Archaea possess DNA and RNA polymerases and wrap their DNAaround histones. The scientific name for Archaea and common name arethe same.

Bacteriaare found in every habitat on earth soil, rock, water, and snow.Everyday yogurt has a great bacteria called lactobacillus bulgaricus.The only other name I can find for this bacteria is thermobacteriumbulgaricum. The black death was caused by a bacteria called yersiniapestis. This killed over 350 million people. The common name for thisbacteria is bubonic plague.

Protistsare found mostly in the water. They serve as the site for 50% of theworld`s photosynthesis. Chromalveolatais the &quotforest of theocean&quot aka kelp.A protist that is damaging to humans isTrypanosomes brusei this causes African sleeping sickness.

Fungiare found in soil and plant material. Yeast from Saccharomycescerevisiae helps to produce bread and beer which is helpful to allhumans! Ringworm is caused by dermatophytes creating inflammation inresponse to metabolic by-products.


Hello,thank you for such an insightful post. It was very interesting howyou focused mostly on the positive effects of microbes. I agree withyou that most of the times, people tend to concentrate on thenegative sides and fail to recognize that these organisms alsobenefit human beings in one way or another. Just to add to what youhave said about bacteria, I think they have been successfuldisease-causing organisms because of their ability to developresistance from several medications. For this reason, it is alwaysrecommended that one always completes his or her medication asscheduled by the physician so as to reduce incidences ofantimicrobial resistance. Another critical point is the role thatthese microbes play in photosynthesis. Protists which serve as thesite for 50% of the total global photosynthesis is necessary for thesurvival of both plant and animal lives. Additionally, understandingabout groups of organisms such as Archaea can help in the managementof diseases and conditions such as obesity. In the United States,childhood obesity is a major health concern, and by destroying someArchaea present in the stomach region, obesity can be managed.


Lupetti,A., Barnini, S., Dodi, C., Menconi, M., Favre, C., Giagnoni, M. &ampCampa, M. (2014). New rapid methods cannot replace the current methodto diagnose bloodstream infections.&nbspJournalof medical microbiology,&nbsp63(5),767-769.


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Respiration is a physiological process in which living things convertglucose and oxygen to energy. It is not to be confused by gaseousexchange, which is also a physiological process. During the gaseousexchange, organisms simply take in oxygen and give out carbondioxide. On the other hand, respiration is a quite complicatedprocess that involves various reactions in the body. Glucose obtainedduring digestion reacts with the oxygen obtained when inhaling. Thetwo react through different processes to produce water, carbondioxide, and energy. In the subsequent paragraphs, we shall discusswhat is respiration and one of the two types of respiration, aerobicrespiration. Besides, we shall also discuss oxygen photosynthesis andhow it relates to aerobic respiration.

As discussed above, respiration is a physiological process. Aphysiological process is any process that occurs in the body whichentails both physical and chemical process. There are two main modesof respiration, aerobic respiration, and anaerobic respiration.Aerobic respiration is quite simpler as compared to anaerobicrespiration. Anaerobic respiration takes place when the supply ofoxygen is little in the cell (Reece et al, 161).

AerobicCellular Respiration

Aerobicrespiration mainly occurs inside the cells of living organisms, assuch, referred to as aerobic cellular respiration. It takes place inthe mitochondrion of the cell. This type of the respiration mainlyuses oxygen to convert glucose into energy. Once the digestion of thefood occurs, the result will be glucose. The body must find a way ofconverting the glucose to energy that is useful to it. The glucose,which is the result of carbohydrate digestion, reacts with oxygenthat is inhaled from the atmosphere. (Reece et al, 164)

Glucose+ oxygen – carbon (IV) oxide+ water + energy

6O2+ C6H12O6 –&gt 6CO2 +6H2O + ATP

Energyis the main product of this process, while carbon (IV) oxide andwater are by-products (Reece, Jane, Lisa, Michael, Steven, Peter, Ro,and Neil 2011). The amount of energy yielded during the process is 38adenosine triphosphate (ATP).


Photosynthesis is term formed from a combination of two words,&quotphoto&quot and &quotsynthesis.&quot This means that it is aprocess that involves making a product and for it to occur light mustbe present. Just like aerobic respiration, photosynthesis is also anintercellular process. It takes place inside the cells of plants.Photosynthesis is described as the process through which plantsmanufacture food from carbon (IV) oxide and water. For photosynthesisto occur, light and chlorophyll must be present. There are two mainmodes of photosynthesis, oxygenic and anoxygenic. Oxygenicphotosynthesis uses water while anoxygenic uses electron donors tomake food (Reece et al, 187)

During oxygenic photosynthesis, water and carbon (IV) oxide react inthe presence of light to give glucose, oxygen, and water. Glucose isthe main product of oxygenic photosynthesis while oxygen and waterare by-products.

6CO2&nbsp+ 12H2O + Light Energy → C6H12O6&nbsp+6O2&nbsp+ 6H2O

Therelationship between aerobic cellular respiration and oxygenicphotosynthesis

When one considers the equations of the two processes, you can noticea relationship.

Aerobiccellular respiration: 6O2 + C6H12O6 –&gt 6CO2 +6H2O + ATP

Oxygenicphotosynthesis equation is: 6CO2&nbsp+ 12H2O +Light Energy → C6H12O6&nbsp+6O2&nbsp+ 6H2O

Theby-products of one process are the reactants of the other processthis means that these two processes are dependent on each other thushey are intended to balance each other. Without one of the process,the other would seize to take place.

In both processes, energy is produced. However in cellularrespiration, the energy produced is quite a significant amount, whichis 38 ATP. Cellular respiration does not require sunlight for it toproceed. The primary reactants are glucose and oxygen. In oxygenicphotosynthesis, sunlight is compulsory for the reaction to occur. Theprimary reactants are carbon (IV) oxide and water. The products ofthe process are glucose water and oxygen. The oxygen produced here,get used in cellular respiration. In aerobic respiration, the energyproduced is released while in oxygenic photosynthesis the energygenerated is retained in the cell.

Aerobic cellular respiration is a quite complicated process withfour stages. The first stage is glycolysis, preceded by pyruvateoxidation then Krebs cycle and finally oxidative phosphorylation. Onthe other hand, oxygenic photosynthesis is a simple process with onlytwo steps, the light dependent stage, and the light independentstage. Aerobic cellular respiration takes place in the mitochondriaof cells while oxygenic photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts ofcells. Aerobic respiration occurs both in plants and animals. Theprocess does not require any catalyst. The potential energy necessaryfor the process is mainly due to the breaking of bonds and fusion toform new bonds. Oxygenic photosynthesis, however, is only limited toplants. The process uses chlorophyll as a catalyst. Light energysupplies the potential energy that is required for the process totake place efficiently.

Since the two processes rely on one another, the question one oughtto ask is which one came before the other one. It goes without sayingthat oxygenic photosynthesis came before aerobic respiration. Also,there are some theories to support this deduction. Scientists havecome up with three major theories which attempt to support thatoxygenic photosynthesis existed way before aerobic respiration (Reeceet al, 182). The first theory is the great oxidation event. The eventis believed to have happened about 2.3 billion years ago. Theoccurrence is thought to have been brought about by cyanobacteriawhich produced oxygen.

The other theory claims that biogenic oxygen manufacture started inthe earlier periods of the earth history before the recording of manychronological events. Therefore, this resulted in the atmospherefilling up with excessive oxygen. The last theory claims that theprocess existed millions of years before the existence of theatmosphere (Reece et al, 553)

Aerobic cellular respiration is believed to have come into existenceright after the formation of the first cell. From various studies, itis clear that multicellular organisms emerged from unicellularorganisms this was after the cyanobacteria began generatingexcessive oxygen, a by-product of photosynthesis. Therefore, aerobiccellular respiration could only occur if oxygen was present. The onlyway for oxygen to be available was if another source produced it(Reece et al, 561)

Also, oxygenic photosynthesis requires only substances present innature that is carbon (IV) oxide, water, and sunlight. On the otherhand, aerobic cellular respiration requires more than substanceavailable in nature which includes glucose and oxygen. Oxygen can befound in nature, but glucose is not. Therefore there must exist a wayfor glucose to occur for aerobic respiration to occur. Organisms thatuse aerobic cellular respiration for energy production must find away to obtain glucose. They, therefore, feed on other organisms sothat they can obtain glucose through digestion.

In conclusion, aerobic cellular respiration, and oxygenicphotosynthesis processes tends to rely on each other. The two must bein place so that the balance of nature is maintained properly. Anabsence of one of the processes will automatically lead to thetermination of the other process.

Work cited

Reece, Jane B., Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven AlexanderWasserman, Peter V. Minorsky, Rob Jackson, and Neil A. Campbell.Campbell . 10th ed. N.p.: n.p., 2011. Print.