Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Bacteria

  • Michael Hoppert
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_16

Synonyms

Eubacteria (term abandoned)

Definition

Prokaryotes that constitute, besides Archaea and Eukarya, a domain of life. According to (old Greek) bakterion “small rod.”

History

During the nineteenth century, several fundamental discoveries defined the beginning of modern microbiology (cf. Schlegel, 1999). Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) found that growth of bacteria in nutrient broths is not due to spontaneous generation and that fermentation is caused by the growth of microorganisms. Ferdinand Cohn (1828–1898) could state that bacteria must belong to a phylogenetic group separated from other unicellular plants or animals, due to their size, shape, the mode of cell division, and their metabolic properties. Robert Koch (1842–1910) developed the concept of infectious diseases. The final proof that bacteria must be distinct from plants and animals could be shown not until the distinct compartmentation of bacterial cells was noticed by electron microscopy, in the 1960s. Especially, the...

Keywords

Fermentation Chlorophyll Respiration Nitrite Bacillus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hoppert
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Mikrobiologie und GenetikUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany