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Unit 2

Big Ideas

All living things can be classified according to

their anatomical and physiological characteristics.

Human activities affect the diversity of

living things in ecosystems.

Lesson 5
Learning Goals

Explore the biology of Examine their role in

Prokaryotes and causing disease as well
understand the as how they can be used
differences between to treat or prevent
Archeae and Eubacteria. disease.
What are the differences
between Archaea and
Why are diseases caused by
bacteria treated differently
than diseases caused by
Effect of antibiotics
Are some bacteria on viruses?
What are bacteria?
useful? On bacteria?
On Ecosystems?

How to protect Compare & contrast

ourselves from Archaea and What are biofilms?
bacteria Eubacteria

Phylogeny Taxonomy Classification

Common Phylogenetic Dichotomous

Ancestor Tree Key

Class Unicellular Family ‰ Fungi ‰ Genus

Kingdom Eukaryotes ‰
Order ‰
Phylogeny ‰
Phylum ‰
Plantae ‰

Prokaryote ‰
Protista ‰ s‰
Species Multicellular Animalia Autotrophes


DNA Epidemic
Virus Capsid
RNA Pandemic

Lysis Viroid
Transduction Gene therapy
Lysogeny Prion

Pathogen Micrometer Mutualism Antibiotic Plasmid Bacillus

Obligate Obligate Facultative

Coccus Spirillum anaerobe
aerobe anaerobe

Transduction Endospore Conjugation
• Organisms in Domain Eubacteria
(commonly called bacteria) and Domain
Archaea are prokaryotes.
• They are single-celled organisms, and they
lack membrane-bound organelles.
• Prokaryotes are the smallest organisms on
Earth and some of the most important.
Most prokaryote species are only 1 μm to
2 μm long—500 to 1000 of them would fi t
side by side across the dot of this letter “i.”
• (compare to the sizes of viruses)

• Despite their small size, prokaryotes are dominant forms of life that live in
every imaginable habitat. They live inside and on the surface of other
organisms, in water and soil, deep within Earth, in boiling hot springs, and
even in ice.
• Prokaryotes vastly outnumber all living things on Earth. Their total mass
exceeds that of animals and possibly all plant life on Earth.
• Only as little as 1 % of the total number of species has been isolated and
Why Prokaryotes Are Important?

 Bacteria and disease:

• Bacteria are best known for their harmful effects. Bacteria are responsible for many diseases in humans
and in other organisms. Infectious bacteria are called pathogens and are responsible for many human
deaths each year.
• Bacterial diseases include cholera, leprosy, typhoid fever, strep throat, salmonella poisoning, and
tuberculosis. Bacteria also infect livestock and crops and therefore threaten our primary food sources.
• However, diseases that harm one species can benefit another. For example, diseases that weaken
predators benefit their prey. pathogen a disease-causing agent, often a virus or micro-organism
Why Prokaryotes Are Important?

 Bacteria and the ecosystems:

• Some bacteria play a very positive overall role on Earth, and without them we could not survive.
• Bacteria, and some archaea, play key roles in ecosystems. Many are decomposers, and others are
producers. These microorganisms also recycle nutrients and are vital to biogeochemical cycles.
• Bacteria fix, or convert, atmospheric nitrogen into chemical compounds that can be used by plants.
• Photosynthetic bacteria are the major producers in marine ecosystems and are therefore major producers
of atmospheric oxygen.
Why Prokaryotes Are Important?

 Mutualistic relationships:
• Humans rely on bacteria in the large intestine to produce needed vitamins K and B12.

• This type of relationship between two species that are interdependent, where each
benefits from the other, is known as mutualism.
Why Prokaryotes Are Important?

 Commercial Uses of Prokaryotes

• Production of foods such as cheeses, yogurt, soy sauce, and chocolate
• Production of antibiotics, which can destroy or inhibit the growth of other micro-
• Genetic engineers have even modified some bacteria to produce medically valuable
compounds, including insulin and human growth hormone.
Why Prokaryotes Are Important?

 Archaea
• Archaea are a group of prokaryotes that were discovered only about 40 years ago.
• Scientists do not know as much about archaea as they do about bacteria, but we do know that
these species play key roles in many ecosystems.
• Archaea live in some of the most extreme environments on Earth, such as hot springs, Arctic ice
floes, and highly acidic waters. They also live in the intestines of some animals, including
• No species from Domain Archaea are known to cause disease.
The Domain Eubacteria
• Fossil evidence shows that prokaryotes have lived on Earth for more
than 3.5 billion years.
The Domain Eubacteria
Classification and Phylogeny:
• The Domain Eubacteria has more than
12 separate evolutionary groups.
• Figure 4 shows six particularly important groups of bacteria.
Some are Ancient forms of
photosynthetic but these bacteria
Proteobacteria use a form of were the likely
photosynthesis ancestors of
that differs from eukaryotic
that of plants. mitochondria.

They are responsible for

many diseases,
Some are
including bubonic
plague, gonorrhea,
dysentery, and some
They use a form of
that differs from
that of plants.
They are usually
found in salt-water
environments or
hot springs.
Ancient forms of
They use a form these bacteria
of photosynthesis were the likely
similar to plants ancestors of
and other eukaryotic
Cyanobacteria eukaryotes. chloroplasts.
(Blue-green They play major
algae) roles as They form
producers and symbiotic
nitrogen fixers in relationships
aquatic with fungi.
They cause many They are used in
diseases, including food production
anthrax, strep (for example,
throat, bacterial lactobacillus is used
pneumonia, and in yogurt and
meningitis. probiotic products).
Gram positive
bacteria One type—
Some have lost
the smallest known
their cell wall.
cells (0.1 μm to 0.2
Their spiral-
They move with a
shaped flagellum
is embedded in
their cytoplasm.

They cause spirochetes in
syphilis. termite intestines
digest wood fibre.

They cause They cause

All are parasites that chlamydia, one of trachoma, the
live within other the most common leading cause of
cells. sexually blindness in
transmitted humans.
A cell wall and a plasma membrane surround the cytoplasm
of Eubacteria
A bacterium’s chromosome is a single loop of DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) that is found in a region called the

Ribosomes, which are used in protein synthesis, are

scattered throughout the cytoplasm.

Bacteria often have one or more flagella for movement and small
hair-like structures called pili (singular: pilus). The pili are made of
stiff proteins and help the cell attach to other cells or surfaces.

Figure 6 shows the structure of a typical bacteria cell.

Characteristics of Eubacteria
• In addition to a single chromosome, many bacteria have
one or more plasmids in their cytoplasm. A plasmid is a
small loop of DNA that usually carries a small number of
• The genes are not essential for cellular functions but
often provide some advantage to the cell.
• For example, genes that give bacteria resistance to
antibiotics are often found on plasmids.
Characteristics of Eubacteria
• Bacteria have complex cell walls composed primarily of
peptidoglycan, a large molecule that forms long chains. These
chains become cross-linked, making the cell wall strong and
• Archaeal cell walls do not have peptidoglycan; instead, some
contain pseudomurein, a compound made of unusual lipids
and amino acids.
• Some bacteria are also surrounded by a sticky capsule. The
capsule reduces water loss, resists high temperatures, and
helps keep out antibiotics and viruses.
Characteristics of Eubacteria
Bacteria cells vary considerably in shape. Three common shapes are:
• coccus (plural: cocci), or round;
• bacillus (plural: bacilli), or rod shaped;
• and spirillum (plural: spirilli), or spiral (Figure 7(a) to (c))..
Characteristics of Eubacteria

• Bacteria cells oft en occur in particular

arrangements, such as pairs, clumps, or strings.

• The prefixes diplo-, staphylo-, and strepto- are used

to describe these arrangements (Figure 7(d)).

• Many species names are based on these easily

recognizable characteristics. For example, the
species of bacteria responsible for strep throat is
Streptococcus pyogenes
Bacteria are extremely diverse in the ways they get nutrients
and energy from their surroundings:
• Autotrophic bacteria make their own food. They assemble
complex carbon molecules from simple inorganic
chemicals—substances such as carbon dioxide, water, and
minerals that are part of the abiotic environment.
• Heterotrophic bacteria get their nutrients from carbon
containing organic chemicals found in other living
organisms or their remains, such as sugars, fats, and
• Many bacteria can also get energy from inorganic
chemicals such as hydrogen, sulfur, and iron compounds.
• All animals and plants are obligate aerobes: they
need oxygen, obtained through the process of
respiration, in order to get energy from food.
Some bacteria are obligate aerobes.

• and others are facultative aerobes. These

bacteria perform aerobic respiration in the
presence of oxygen and anaerobic respiration, or
anaerobic fermentation, when oxygen is absent.

• Still other bacteria are obligate anaerobes: they

cannot live in environments where oxygen is
Reproduction and Recombination

• Prokaryotes normally
reproduce asexually.
• In this process, a parent cell
divides by binary fission,
producing two daughter cells.
• Each daughter cell receives an
exact copy of the genetic
material from the parent cell—
its chromosome and plasmids.
Reproduction and Recombination

Genetic recombination in bacteria can occur by the following three ways:

• transformation (taking in DNA from the outside environment)
• conjugation (exchanging DNA with other bacteria via pili)

• transduction (transmission of bacterial DNA via viruses).

• If the new DNA came from a different species, the process is called horizontal gene

• Some bacteria have a unique strategy for surviving unfavourable

conditions: they produce endospores. An endospore is a highly
resistant structure that forms around the chromosome when the
cell is under stress.
• Endospores can withstand extreme conditions and remain
dormant until conditions improve, often for many years.
• Living bacterial endospores that are thousands of years old have
been recovered from Egyptian mummies!
Bacterial disease

• Bacteria are responsible for many diseases

ranging in severity from minor ear infections,
which affect individuals, to the bubonic
plague wiped out entire populations.

• Human diseases may result from endotoxins

or exotoxins produced by bacteria or from the
destruction of body tissues. M
• These toxins have different effects depending
on the bacterial species and site of
take over the population when the normal cells die
Bacterial disease
E. coli strain O157:H7.
• This strain causes severe food poisoning and was responsible for the water
contamination tragedy in Walkerton, Ontario, in 2000. Unlike other E. coli,
this deadly strain has an additional piece of DNA with instructions for
making the toxin.
• Evidence strongly suggests that this is a case of horizontal gene transfer.
The strain was created when DNA was transferred to E. coli from the
bacteria Shigella dysenteriae, the cause of dysentery.
• Antibiotics are the most successful and widely used treatment of bacterial
• With E. coli O157:H7, however, the deadly toxin is released when the cell
• A dose of antibiotics can kill many of the bacteria at once, causing a
dangerous amount of the toxin to be released.
Bacterial disease

• Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance

• A mutation in the DNA of a single bacterium

can confer resistance to an antibiotic.
• Cells with the mutant gene have a selective
advantage when the antibiotic is present.
• Mutant cells take over the population when
the normal cells die.
Bacterial Diseases

Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance:

• Prokaryotes and fungi are often in direct competition with
each other for food and resources, and they produce
antibiotic substances as a form of chemical warfare.
• By producing and releasing an antibiotic into the
surroundings, one of the microbes may be able to kill the
other and get the fruit.
• Antibiotics are immensely valuable to humans.
• By mass-producing a wide variety of antibiotics, we can
often kill bacteria where they are unwanted.
• Unfortunately, though antibiotics have saved many
millions of lives, they may not be so effective in the future:
The overuse of antibiotics can cause bacteria to adapt and
become resistant, so that the antibiotics are no longer
Exit Slips
• What are pili? Are they
different from cilia?
• What are metabolic
Exit Slips Common • Other than food production,
how are bacteria important
Analysis Questions: to humans?
• When two cells of the same
species transfer DNA?
• Mutualistic relationships/
structure of bacteria
• How is photosynthesis in bacteria
different than in plants?
• How can we stop bacteria from releasing
• How long does it take for viruses to die?
Exit Slips Common
• If a person dies, will the bacteria in his
corpse continue to live?
Analysis • What do bacteria gain from infecting its
• How do bacteria compete?
• What if we did not have bacteria in our
Domain Archaea

• were originally thought of as unusual types of true bacteria.

• They are now known to be unlike any other living thing.
• Their cell membranes and walls have a unique chemical makeup,
and most lack peptidoglycan.
• Archaea also have genetic information that distinguishes them
from bacteria and eukaryotes.
Domain Archaea
• One characteristic of archaea is
that many inhabit extreme
• Some can even survive being boiled
in strong detergents!
• Their cell membranes and cell walls
are much more resistant to physical
and chemical disruptions than
those of other organisms.
Domain Archaea
There are three branches in Domain Archaea.
They live in sediments of
low-oxygen swamps, lakes,
environments, marshes, and
including sewage lagoons

digestive They generate energy by
tracts of some converting chemical
mammals compounds into
(including methane gas, which is
humans) and released into the
some insects atmosphere.
They are salt-loving organisms that can live
in highly saline environments including the
Dead Sea and foods preserved by salting.

Most are aerobic and get energy from

Halophiles organic food molecules.

Some use light as a secondary energy

They live in extremely hot
environments including hot
springs and hydrothermal
Extreme vents on the ocean fl oor.
Their optimal temperature
range for growth is 70 °C to
95 °C.
They are cold-loving organisms
found mostly in the Antarctic

and Arctic oceans, and cold

Psychrophiles ocean depths.

Their optimal temperature range

for growth is 10 °C to 20 °C.
Critical Thinking

Imagine that you overheard someone say,

“Bacteria cause disease. It would be good
if we could eliminate all bacteria on Earth.”

Would you agree with this statement?

Explain your reasoning.
of Protists
What's the difference between a bacterium and a simple protist?

1 2 3
Were A protist is a Otherwise, simple
simple protists the eukaryote, so protists, like the
Paramecium and
first eukaryotic each cell has
amoeba, can be fairly
organisms to a nucleus. similar to bacteria.
evolve? Probably.
Evolution of Protists

• Scientists think that protists are the oldest eukaryotes. If so, they
must have evolved from prokaryotic cells.
• How did this happen?
• The endosymbiotic theory provides the most widely-accepted
explanation. That’s because it is well supported by evidence.
According to the endosymbiotic theory, the first
eukaryotic cells evolved from a symbiotic
relationship between two or more prokaryotic cells.

Smaller prokaryotic cells were engulfed by (or

The First invaded) larger prokaryotic cells.

Eukaryotic The small cells (now called endosymbionts)

benefited from the relationship by getting a safe
Cells home and nutrients.
The large cells (now called hosts) benefited by
getting some of the organic molecules
or energy released by the endosymbionts .

Eventually, the endosymbionts evolved

into organelles of the host cells. After that,
neither could live without the other .
Evolution of
• some of the endosymbionts were
aerobic bacteria.
• They were specialized to break
down chemicals and release energy.
• They evolved into
the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells.
• Some of the small cells were
cyanobacteria. They were
specialized for photosynthesis. They
evolved into the chloroplasts of
eukaryotic cells.
Many pieces of evidence support the endosymbiotic theory:

Mitochondria and chloroplasts contain DNA that is different

from the DNA found in the cell nucleus. Instead, it is similar
to the circular DNA of bacteria.
Evidence for the
Endosymbiotic Mitochondria and chloroplasts are surrounded by their
own plasma membranes, which are similar to bacterial
Theory membranes.

New mitochondria and chloroplasts are produced through a

process similar to binary fission. Bacteria also reproduce
through binary fission.

The internal structure and biochemistry of chloroplasts is

very similar to that of cyanobacteria.