Microbiology is the study of small microscopic living things. These life forms are called microorganisms or microbes. Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, yeasts, and algae. Microbiology is a wide area of science that includes bacteriology, virology, mycology, phycology, parasitology, and other branches of biology. In practice microbiology is concerned with bacteria and/or viruses although eukaryotic microbiology is also a very important branch of microbiology. Many diseases of animals, humans and plants are caused by bacteria, viruses, amoeba, and fungi. Microorganisms are used in food and drink production and also used to produce antibiotics.
Microbes serve as specific agents for large scale chemical transformations. They play important role in the Carbon cycle, Nitrogen cycle, Sulphur cycle etc. and also in the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen.
Microbiologycontributed significantly to the development of new branches like Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Hence, the branch microbiology developed into an independent modern branch of science.
Microbiology is a broad discipline includes specialties as diverse as other branches of life science. This publication provides a balanced introduction to all major areas of microbiology for a variety of students. So, the book is suitable for courses with orientations ranging from basic microbiology to applied microbiology. The chapters in this book are useful for those aiming for careers in research, teaching, and industry.