Q:

What are the shapes of bacteria?

A:

Quick Answer

There are five primary shapes of bacteria found in nature: coccus, spirillum, vibria, bacillus and spirachaetes. These shapes can be found in a variety of configurations that help identify the bacterial species.

 Know More

Full Answer

Bacteria are single cell organisms found all over Earth, and they group together in colonies. It is estimated that the number of bacterial cells inside the human body is 10 times greater than that of human cells. Most of these bacteria are located in the intestines and colon, where they break down carbohydrates and aid in the absorption and digestion of nutrients. Though these bacteria are not usually harmful to humans, they are capable of acting as opportunistic pathogens during times of compromised immune function. Most bacteria living in the human gut are anaerobes, which means that they thrive in environments that do not offer access to oxygen.

In order to reproduce, bacteria go through a process called binary fission, in which a single cell divides into two identical daughter cells. This process replicates the DNA of bacteria, and in certain species, can occur as frequently as every 20 minutes. The capacity for such rapid reproduction is the reason humans become ill so quickly when infected with an opportunistic bacterial pathogen.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do fungi and bacteria differ?

    A:

    According to Antimicrobial Test Laboratories, bacteria are almost always rod-shaped, whereas fungi can be found in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Bacteria are also considered prokaryotic, meaning they do not have a membrane-bound nucleus. Fungi, on the other hand, are eukaryotic, which means they do have a distinct nucleus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the largest single cell?

    A:

    The largest cells found in nature are ostrich eggs. Before fertilization, the entire interior of the egg consists of a single cell, which can weigh up to 5 pounds. The largest single-celled organism is an animal called Syringammina fragilissima, which can grow to a width of 4 inches.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a structural protein?

    A:

    Structural proteins are fibrous proteins, and they are the most abundant proteins found in nature. Collagens, fibronectins and laminins are all different types of structural proteins that are used in cell culture applications as attachment factors.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is symmetry in nature?

    A:

    Symmetry in nature is the balanced distribution of complementary parts of the natural world. This balanced distribution is exemplified in the bilateral symmetry of most vertebrae, whose left and right sides are mirror images of one another.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore