Chapter 01 intro - ElsevierDirect


22 Φεβ 2013 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 2 μήνες)

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Introduction to

Environmental Microbiology

Course: Companion Site for Environmental Microbiology

Instructor: Maier

Chapter 1

Lecture Objectives:

Understand course objectives and how to obtain the
grade you want

Recall some of the names of your classmates and your

Locate course materials on the web

Define Environmental Microbiology and articulate its
relevance to the human race

Environmental Microbiology


The study of microbial fate and activity in air, water and soil, and the
resulting impact on human health and welfare.

Driving force behind Environmental Microbiology:

How can we harness the understanding of environmental microbes

to benefit society?

Microbial Ecology


The science that explores interrelationships between organisms and

their living and abiotic environment

Compare with:

Introduction to Environmental Microbiology

Important Events Leading to Environmental Microbiology

A Historical Perspective

A) Ancient History


Antonie van Leeuwenhoek



microscope “animalcules”

1900 Louis Pasteur


rejected theory of spontaneous generation


demonstrated presence of microbes in air

1953 Sergei Winogradski


“Father” of Soil Microbiology


nitrification, autotrophy

1910 Robert Koch

Nobel Prize


pure culture technique


Koch’s postulates: a specific organism causes a specific

process (e.g., disease)

B) 20


1928 Griffith


bacterial genetics



1952 Selman Waksman

Principles of Soil Microbiology


Discovery of streptomycin (Nobel Prize)

1953 Watson and Crick

Structure of DNA (Nobel Prize)

1985 Kary Mullis

Polymerase Chain Reaction (Nobel Prize)

C) The Next Millenium


"Beginning with a single molecule of the genetic material DNA, the PCR can
generate 100 billion similar molecules in an afternoon. The reaction is easy to
execute. It requires no more than a test tube, a few simple reagents and a
source of heat. The DNA sample that one wishes to copy can be pure, or it can
be a minute part of an extremely complex mixture of biological materials. The
DNA may come from a hospital tissue specimen, from a single human hair, from a
drop of dried blood at the scene of a crime, from the tissues of a mummified
brain or from a 40,000
old wooly mammoth frozen in a glacier."

Modern Environmental Microbiology

Soil microbiology

Aquatic microbiology

Hazardous waste/bioremediation

Water quality

Food safety


Occupational health/infection control

Diagnostic microbiology


Industrial microbiology