The diagram above represents a basic Bacteria cell and mainly what it would look like for all the organisms in this Domain.
The first person to see Bacteria was Anton van Leewenhoek, in 1674, while looking through a single-lens microscope. Most people think of bacteria- as a disease causing organism. However, pathogenic bacteria do not make up the whole Domain of bacteria, they just make up a fraction of it. Bacteria is widespread and can’t be located in a certain area. One thing that enables them to spread so far, is their ability to go dormant for a long period of time. Bacteria plays an important role in the global ecosystem. Land and water systems, depends on the activity of bacteria. One function bacteria has, that is so important, is decomposition. This is where the bacteria breaks down dead organisms, and releases the nutrients from that organism back into the environment.
Another function, is the cycling of nitrogen. Plants need nitrogen from the soil for their health and growth. Certain bacteria have the job to make nitrogen fixations available for the plants in the soil. Then on the other hand, denitrifying bacteria metabolizes in the reverse direction turning nitrates into nitrogen gas or nitrous oxide. This makes it difficult for plants to grow because they can’t get the nutrients from soil like they are supposed to.  As you can see, bacteria isn’t this small domain that is only destroys things, there are beneficial bacteria too, with a variety of different organisms in both categories.
Click on an organism below to learn about a beneficial bacteria or about a pathogenic bacteria
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