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Chapter 6

Assimilation- process where cells incorporate nutrients from their surroundings.

Autotrophs- assimilate carbon from inorganic sources through a process known as carbon fixation.
Heterotrophs- obtain carbon in organic forms.
Phototrophs- capture light energy through the process of photosynthesis.
Organotrophs- acquires electrons from organic molecules.
Chemotrophs- acquires energy through the oxidation of organic or inorganic compounds.
Lithotrophs- acquire electrons from inorganic molecules.
Prototrophs- can synthesize all the needed macromolecular precursors from a single carbon source and
inorganic molecules.
Auxotrophs- cannot synthesize all the needed precursors from a single carbon source.
Aerobes- grow in the presence of oxygen.
Obligate Aerobes- absolutely depend on oxygen.
Microaerophiles- grow optimally at oxygen concentrations lower than atmospheric oxygen.
Anaerobic growth- occurs without the use of oxygen.
Aerotolerant anaerobes- do not use oxygen, but are not harmed by it.
Obligate Anaerobes- cannot grow in the presence of oxygen.
Facultative anaerobes- can utilize oxygen, but can also grow in the absence of oxygen.
Neutrophiles- grow optimally when the pH is close to 7.
Alkalophiles- grow optimally in basic environments pH>8.5.
Acidophiles- grow optimally in acidic environments pH<5.5.
Osmotic Pressure, Water Activity, and Temperature also affect microbial growth.
Microorganisms can be grown in liquid media or solid media containing agar.
Selecitive Medium- allows for isolation of microorganisms with specific properties.
Differential Medium- allows certain microbes to be recognized based on a visual reaction in the
Enrichment Media- used to increase the population of microbes with specific properties.
Streak Plate- method for isolating microorganisms.
Cultivation- independent methods- based on nucleic acid detection and metagenomics can allow
identification and characterization of uncultivated microbes.
Metagenomics- DNA isolated from an environmental sample is randomly cloned and sequences are
determined from the cloned DNA fragments.
The actual number of cells in a sample can be determined by a direct count usually done with a Petroff-
Hausser counting chamber.
Turbidity- used to measure the density of a microbial population growing in a liquid medium. As the
density increases, the absorbance, or optical density, increases.
Many microorganisms can be removed from liquids by filtration.
Autoclave- microorganisms killed by heating.
UV radiation, ionizing radiation, and gamma rays damage DNA and are useful for sterilization.
Disinfectants- chemicals than can be applied to non living objects to kill microorganisms. Antiseptics can
be used on the skin.
Decimal Reduction Time- specific measurement of the effectiveness of these agents.

Manganese- Element that is considered a microelement in microbiological media.
Plate Counts of Serial Dilutions- method that is used to obtain a viable cell count.
Alcohols disrupts the plasma membrane.