INTRODUCTION TO APPLIED & ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY

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INTRODUCTION TO APPLIED
& ENVIRONMENTAL
MICROBIOLOGY

Lecture 1

MB433 Spring 2009

Gill Geesey

Assignment #1


Text reading assignment: Chapter 1 & 2


Be prepared to discuss in class on
Wednesday Aug 30th

Applied Microbiology


The exploitation of microorganisms, their
activities, and their products for the benefit
of society.

Environmental Microbiology


The study of microorganisms and their
activities in the environment for the purpose
of understanding their role in maintenance
of the biosphere and their potential use in
remediating sites that have been disturbed.

Microbial Ecology


Microbial Ecology is the study of interactions
between populations of microorganisms and
between microbial populations and organisms
in other tropic levels

Key events that led to the development of
Environmental Microbiology as a scientific
discipline


Rachael Carson published “Silent Spring”
bringing to the public’s attention the poor
condition of the environment


Emergence of new waterborne and foodborne
pathogens that posed human health threats



New technologies emerged to study microbes in
their natural environment rather than as pure
cultures in the laboratory

Environmental

Microbiology

Soil

microbiology

Aero
-

microbiology

Hazardous

waste/

bioremediation

Aquatic

microbiology

Water quality

Industrial

microbiology

Food safety

Occupational

health/

Infection

control

Diagnostic

microbiology

Biotechnology

stopped

MICROORGANISMS IN THE
ENVIRONMENT


They are ubiquitous


occur everywhere


In and on the body


Things we touch, use, eat and drink


Wet surfaces


biofilms


Plants


Deep subsurface


Extraterrestrial?

Microorganisms in the Environment


Viruses


animal & plant pathogens,
bacteriophages


Prior to the advent of antibiotics,
bacteriophage were being studied as
antibacterial agents. Is this concept still
applicable today?


Bacteria


pathogens & commensals; many
are saprophytic, some chemolithotrophic,
some photosynthetic

Microorganisms in the Environment


Archaea


Algae


primary producers, some pathogens


Fungi


from microscopic to macroscopic


Protozoa


parasites & saprophytes

Environmental Monitoring


Challenge:Define microbial community structure
and function under in
-
situ conditions


Isolating microorganisms from their natural state
and studying them in an artificial lab environment
is no longer necessary.
Why?


Isolation of one population from another
consorting population may be impossible...

Monitoring approaches


Molecular methods... Are they the gold standard?


No one approach is free of bias


Best strategy is to use several independent
approaches and compare results


Modern Environmental Microbiology


Discovery and identification of new microbes,
microbial activities, and microbial products that
protect environment


Use microbial products as pesticides to replace
chemical pesticides with long resident time in
environment.
Example of such a product?


Microbially enhanced oil recovery.
Example of a
product?


Microbially enhanced mineral recovery.
Example?


Bioremediation