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1. What is the difference between a bacterium and a virus?
A bacterium is a single-celled microorganism that cannot reproduce independently. A virus is a microscopic particle containing genetic material (DNA or RNA) that infects bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and animals. Bacteria are generally larger than viruses.
2. How do viruses replicate?
Viruses replicate using the host’s cellular machinery. Viral DNA or RNA enters the host cell and directs its own replication.
3. What is the difference in structure between a prokaryote and eukaryote?
Prokaryotes have no nucleus. Eukaryotes have a nucleus.
4. What is the difference among bacterial cells, fungal cells, and plant cells?
Bacterial cells are rod shaped. Fungal cells are round. Plant cells are spherical.
5. What is the difference of a pathogen and a parasite?
Pathogens cause disease. Parasites live off their hosts.
6. What is the difference btween a bacterium and a fungus?
Fungi are multicellular organisms. Bacteria are unicellular organisms.
7. What is the difference betwee a virus and a prion?
Prions are proteinaceous infectious particles that cause neurodegenerative disorders in humans and animals. Prions are not viruses.
8. What is the difference between bacteria and fungi?
Bacteria and fungi are both types of microorganisms. Bacteria are single-celled organisms while fungi are multicellular. Fungi have cells that are larger than bacteria, but they still only consist of one nucleus. Both bacteria and fungi reproduce by binary fission (splitting in half) and both require oxygen to survive. However, fungi cannot live without water.
9. What is the difference in the way bacteria and fungi react to antibiotics?
Fungi are much less sensitive to antibiotics than bacteria. Antibiotics kill bacteria by stopping them from reproducing. Because fungi do not reproduce sexually, they cannot develop antibiotic resistance. In fact, some species of fungus are actually able to produce their own antibiotics.
10. How does the environment affect the survival of microorganisms?
The environment affects the survival of microorganisms by affecting the temperature, pH, and moisture content. All three factors play a role in determining whether microorganisms can survive. If the temperature is high enough, then microorganisms can survive. Too little moisture causes dehydration, which kills microorganisms. Too much moisture creates mold and mildew. A low pH level means that the soil is acidic and therefore harmful to microorganisms.
11. Why are microorganisms considered good or bad?
Microorganisms are considered good or bad based on how they interact with humans. Good microorganisms help us digest food and make vitamins. Bad microorganisms cause disease.
12. What is the difference among viruses, prions, and retroviruses?
Viruses are small pieces of DNA or RNA that infect cells. Prions are protein aggregates that cause neurodegenerative disorders. Retroviruses are viruses that insert their genetic material into host DNA.
13. What is the difference of bacterial spores and fungal spores?
Spores are the reproductive stage of many microorganisms. Bacterial spores are produced in order to allow for long-term survival outside of the body. Fungal spores are produced in order for the organism to spread throughout its environment.
14. What is the difference and relationship between phytopathogens and saprophytes?
Saprophytes are organisms that live on dead matter. Phytopathogens are organisms that cause disease. Saprophytes are generally harmless unless they are introduced into a human or animal body. Phytopathogenic organisms can be either parasitic or nonparasitic. Parasitic phytopathogens attack the host’s internal organs. Nonparasitic phytopathogen attacks external parts of the host.
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