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Microbiology is the study of microorganisms and their activities. This has to do with its
shape, structure, physiology, reproduction, metabolism and identification. Microorganisms,
also called microbes or microscopic organisms, are living beings that can only be visualized
with the Microscope. In this large group we can include the viruses, bacteria, parasites,
yeasts and molds that are found throughout the planet earth.

The objective of Microbiology is to understand the harmful and beneficial activities of

microorganisms and through this understanding, design ways to increase benefits and
reduce or eliminate damage.

The study of microbiology is very important since microorganisms are part of our nature.
Microorganisms have been useful for people even before they were aware of their
existence. The study of microorganisms and knowledge about them has been applied in the
medical, industrial, economic and environmental field1.

Historically, microorganisms have been viewed negatively because of their association with
many human diseases. However, pathological or harmful microorganisms are a very minor
percentage of the total number of microorganisms, most of which play absolutely essential
roles and which, if not existing, would make life on Earth unfeasible. Some examples are
the bacteria that fix atmospheric nitrogen (allowing the life of plant organisms), the bacteria
of the carbon cycle (essential to reincorporate organic matter into the soil) or the multitude
of microorganisms that live symbiotically in our digestive tract, without which digestion
would not be viable. Thus, the "higher organisms" (animals, plants and the human being)
could not live if not for the functions performed by these microscopic beings. In addition,
they have wide applications in the industrial field, such as fermentations (for example, for
the production of alcoholic beverages or dairy products), the production of antibiotics or
other products of pharmaceutical or biotechnological interest (hormones, enzymes, etc.). .
It is also important to highlight the essential role that microorganisms play in biological
research laboratories around the world as tools for gene cloning and protein production 2.

The knowledge of microorganisms has served to avoid economic losses in crops of

agricultural products, to know the pathogenic microorganisms that infect and damage crops
and to know how to control or prevent these microorganisms from attacking crops.

As you can see, human society benefits from microorganisms in many ways. They are
necessary for the preparation of bread, cheese, beer, antibiotics, vaccines, vitamins,

Tomasini Campocosio, Araceli. Los hongos filamentosos, su importancia de estudio y de aplicación industrial. En:
enzymes and other important products. In fact, modern biotechnology is based on
microbiological foundations. Microorganisms are indispensable components of our
ecosystem. Thanks to them, the carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur cycles that take place
in terrestrial and aquatic systems are developed. They are also a source of nutrients at the
base of all food chains and ecological networks.

Personal opinion

Microbiology is a fascinating field. Microorganisms, although they are microscopic

organisms which go unnoticed most of the time, are always present in our daily life.

When they talk about microorganisms, the first thing that comes to mind is that they are
bad bugs that produce diseases and that all of them should be eliminated. But when we
deepen in their knowledge we discover that behind the microbes there is a whole exciting
world and that, although some are very bad, most are good and contribute enormously with
the reproduction of our lives and also with the life of the planet.

Application of microbiology to current pollution problems

Microbiology plays a very important role in eliminating environmental pollution through

the use of living organisms (fungi, enzymes, etc.) for the recovery of a contaminated natural

The microorganisms allow to reduce or remove the potentially dangerous residues present
in the environment. They can also be used to clean contaminated land or water, given that
its scope of applicability is very broad. They can be applied to decontaminate each of the
states of matter, that is, solid (soils or sediments), or directly in sludge, liquid, surface water,
groundwater and wastewater; as well as gases, derived from industrial emissions.


 Tomasini Campocosio, Araceli. Los hongos filamentosos, su importancia de estudio y de aplicación industrial. En: