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Microbial nutrition


And I’m
Nutrient Requirements
Energy Source

 Phototroph
 Uses light as an energy source
 Chemotroph
 Uses energy from the oxidation of
reduced chemical compounds
Electron (Reduction potential)

 Organotroph
 Uses reduced organic compounds as a
source for reduction potential
 Lithotroph
 Uses reduced inorganic compounds as a
source for reduction potential
Carbon source

 Autotroph
 Can use CO2 as a sole carbon source
(Carbon fixation)
 Heterotroph
 Requires an organic carbon source;
cannot use CO2 as a carbon source
Nitrogen source

 Organic nitrogen
 Primarily from the catabolism of amino acids
 Oxidized forms of inorganic nitrogen
 Nitrate (NO32-) and nitrite (NO2-)
 Reduced inorganic nitrogen
 Ammonium (NH4+)
 Dissolved nitrogen gas (N2) (Nitrogen
 Phosphate source
 Organic phosphate
 Inorganic phosphate (H2PO4- and HPO42-)
Sulfur source

 Organic sulfur
 Oxidized inorganic sulfur
 Sulfate (SO42-)
 Reduced inorganic sulfur
 Sulfide (S2- or H2S)
 Elemental sulfur (So)
Special requirements

 Amino acids
 Nucleotide bases
 Enzymatic cofactors or “vitamins”
What are the factors that
Influenced the growth of
bacteria?? Hmmm…

Oxygen requirements
 Aerobes
 Obligate
 facultative
 Anaerobe
 Obligate
 facultative
 microaerophillic
Thermal requirement
 Cryophillic or Psychrophiles
 Grows well at 0ºC; optimally between
0ºC – 15ºC
 Mesophillic
 Optimum around 20 – 45ºC
 Thermophillic
 Optimum around 55 – 65 ºC
 Thermoduric
 Optimum around 80 – 113 ºC
pH requirement
 Acidophillic
 Grow optimally between ~pH 0 and 5.5
 Basophillic/alkalophiles
 Grow optimally between pH 8 – 11.5
 Neutrophiles
 Grow optimally between pH 5.5 and 8
Salt concentration

 Halophiles require elevated salt

concentrations to grow; often require
0.2 M ionic strength or greater and
may some may grow at 1 M or greater;
example, Halobacterium
 Osmotolerant (halotolerant) organisms
grow over a wide range of salt
concentrations or ionic strengths; for
example, Staphylococcus aureus
Growth in Batch Culture
Microbial genetics
Structure and Function of
Genetic Material
 DNA=deoxyribonucleic acid
 RNA=ribonucleic acid
 Basic building blocks:
 Nucleotides

 Phosphate group
 Pentose sugar
 Nitrogenous base
Structure of DNA
 Double stranded (double helix)
 Chains of nucleotides
 5’ to 3’ (strands are anti-parallel)
 Complimentary base pairing
 A-T
 G-C
DNA Structure

DNA Replication
 Bacteria have closed, circular DNA
 Genome: genetic material in an
 E. coli
 4 million base pairs
 1 mm long (over 1000 times larger that
actual bacterial cell)
 DNA takes up around 10% of cell volume
Protein Synthesis

 DNA------- mRNA------
transcription translation

Central Dogma
of Molecular Genetics
 One strand of DNA used as a template to
make a complimentary strand of mRNA
 Promoter/RNA polymerase/termination
site/5’ to 3’
 Ways in which RNA & DNA differ:
 RNA is ss
 RNA sugar is ribose
 Base pairing-A-U
Types of RNA
 Three types:
 mRNA: messenger RNA
 Contains 3 bases ( codon)
 rRNA: ribosomal RNA
 Comprises the 70 S ribosome
 tRNA: transfer RNA
 Transfers amino acids to ribosomes for protein
 Contains the anticodon (3 base sequence that is
complimentary to codon on mRNA)
Genetic Code
 DNA: triplet code

 mRNA: codon (complimentary to

triplet code of DNA)

 tRNA: anticodon (complimentary to

Genetic Code
 Codons: code for the production of a
specific amino acid
 20 amino acids
 3 base code
 Degenerative: more than 1 codon
codes for an amino acid
 Universal: in all living organisms
Genetic Code
 Three parts:
 Initiation-start codon (AUG)
 Elongation-ribosome moves along mRNA
 Termination: stop codon reached/polypeptide
released and new protein forms
 rRNA=subunits that form the 70 S
ribosomes (protein synthesis occurs here)
 tRNA=transfers amino acids to ribosomes
for protein synthesis)
Genetic Transfer in Bacteria
 Genetic transfer-results in genetic variation
 Genetic variation-needed for evolution
 Three ways:
 Transformation: genes transferred from one
bacterium to another as “naked” DNA
 Conjugation: plasmids transferred 1 bacteria to
another via a pilus
 Transduction: DNA transferred from 1 bacteria
to another by a virus
Transduction by a
Conjugation in E. coli
Conjugation continued…
Conjugation continued…