The Five Most Essential Bacteria That Sustain Life on Earth

5 Bacteria that are Essential for Humans to Sustain in Life

01 May 2023 6088 5 minutes

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Being a student, if you’re asked what picture comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘bacteria?’ Many of you would picture them as disease-causing organisms as some of them are hazardous. They cause diseases such as typhoid, food-poisoning and tetanus. Have you ever tried to put your hand below the lens of the microscope during your biology laboratory’s class? Most of you must have tried it. Do you know if you somehow ever get to see your body through the microscope, you will see trillions of microorganisms swarming over your body and can give you creepy-crawlies. But, you will be frightened to know that these bacteria are as essential for human’s survival as oxygen, nitrogen, or water and we are the most important part of their ecosystem. They help in processing and synthesizing of various food items, aid in food digestion process, and treatment of many mental disorders. Human’s survival would be profoundly affected without bacteria, but to know how they are influencing your life, read the blog.
Here is the list of some critical microbes which are useful to various living organisms.

1.) Streptomyces

This is commonly called the ‘recycler bacteria’ because of its ability to decompose the organic matter present in the soil or oceans. Thus, helping in increasing the fertility of the soil. Some of the species of these bacteria are also used for the treatment of any fungal or bacterial diseases.

2.) Lactobacilli

Lactobacilli are one of the probiotics (microbes that are good for health) that are found in milk and other dairy products like curd. Lactobacilli can break lactose to produce lactic acid, as one of the metabolic byproducts. This ability to decompose lactose makes lactobacilli an essential element in the fermentation process. Also, they serve an important role in making pickles by producing lactic acid which serves as a preservative. The formation of yogurt from milk is done through fermentation using Lactobacilli. Lactobacillus Acidophilus resides in the intestines of animals where it helps in digestion.

3.) E.coli

Most of the strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) are harmless and serves an important role in the process of digestion. They aid in the breakdown of undigested monosaccharide sugars. Also, these bacteria release vitamin K and biotin which are important to carry out certain biological processes. But, it is important for you to know that there are some classes of E.coli that causes fatal diseases such as diarrhea, food poisoning, and kidney failure.

4.) Rhizobia

Rhizobia are soil bacteria which are found in the root nodules of the plants. They are useful in converting the atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia and then produce glutamine that is essential for metabolism of plants. The most common genus called ‘Rhizobium’ is responsible for fixing atmospheric nitrogen and making it available for the plants as they cannot do it for themselves. Nitrogen-fixation is an energy consuming process, so to meet this demand, these rhizobia depend on the plants for their food.

5.) Cyanobacteria

These bacteria are beneficial in the synthesis of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen present in the water bodies, and they are environmentally significant bacteria as they produce oxygen. They carry out nitrogen fixation in aquatic habitats. Cyanobacteria are often called ‘blue-green algae’ because of their ability to make their own food (photosynthetic bacteria) and produce oxygen. In fact, these bacteria are responsible for the early atmospheric oxygen on Earth.

This is a brief about some of the crucial bacteria which are essential for human existence on this planet. No matter where you are residing on this earth, bacteria are always there to accompany you. It is up to you how to make the best out of these strains. Harness the friendly ones and keep the harmful ones at bay. Thanks for reading this blog.

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