Notable Bacteria

  • Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax, a deadly disease in cattle and a potential bioweapon against humans

  • .Brucella abortus causes breeding losses in livestock.

  • Cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae) live in water, where they produce large amounts of the oxygen we breathe.

  • Escherichia coli (a.k.a. E. coli) lives in the gut, where it helps digest food and produces Vitamin K. The "bad" strain of E. coli O157:H7 causes severe foodborne sickness.

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus helps turn milk into cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.

  • Bacterium tuberculosism Mycoba causes tuberculosis, a major killer from the past that has recently resurged with the advent of AIDS.

  • Rhizobia convert free nitrogen into a form that the plants can use in order to grow.

  • Staphylococcus (a.k.a. staph) can cause serious infections and is one of the most drug-resistant bacteria.

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae causes strep throat, meningitis, and pneumonia.

  • Streptomyces griseus makes the antibiotic streptomycin.

  • Thermus aquaticus is a heat-loving bacterium from which scientists got the enzyme Taq polymerase that makes routine DNA fingerprinting and gene sequencing possible.


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