micro organisms in ecosystems n.
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Micro-Organisms in Ecosystems - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Micro-Organisms in Ecosystems. Many micro-organisms get their nutrients from symbiotic relationships with other organisms. There are three types of symbiotic relationships:. 1. Parasitism.

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Micro-Organisms in Ecosystems

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Many micro-organisms get their nutrients from symbiotic relationships with other organisms.

  • There are three types of symbiotic relationships:
1 parasitism
1. Parasitism
  • This is where one member of the relationship benefits (the parasite) and the other is harmed (the host).
  • The parasite usually only takes what it needs to survive, because if the host dies then so will the parasite
  • All micro-organisms that cause disease (including viruses) are parasites
  • Categorized as +/- relationship
e g streptococcus
e.g. Streptococcus
  • Digests sugar in your mouth, but produces lactic acid that destroys tooth enamel
2 commensalism
2. Commensalism
  • One member of the relationship benefits (the commensal) while the other is neither harmed nor helped (the host)
  • Many bacteria live in the intestines of mammals
  • Categorized as a +/0 relationship
e g corynebacterium
E.g. Corynebacterium
  • Lives on the surface of the human eye, eating secretions and dead cells.
3 mutualism
3. Mutualism
  • Each member of the relationship is dependent on the other.
  • Neither member can complete its life cycle alone
  • Categorized as a +/+ relationship
  • Lichens and mycorrhizae are mutualisticrealtionships
e g rhizobium
E.g. Rhizobium
  • Is a bacteria that lives in the roots of plants
  • It provides the plant with N (for protein) and the plant provides the bacteria with sugar
micro organisms biotechnology
Micro-organisms & Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology is the use of living organisms for commercial applications
  • Before the term biotechnology was coined people had been creating it for centuries:
    • Using bacteria to produce cheese and yogurt
    • Fermenting plant matter to create silage (cattle feed)
    • Tree bark chewed to relieve headaches
modern biotechnology involves genetic engineering
Modern biotechnology involves genetic engineering
  • Used to insert DNA from other organisms in to bacteria
  • Used to create many products that are useful (and necessary) to humans
    • Insulin
    • Growth hormone
    • Blood factors for hemophiliacs
    • Some vaccines
    • Interferons to treat cancer


Recombinant DNA


Also used to improve plant crops

    • Resist pests
    • Improve taste
    • More nutrients
    • Longer shelf-life

This method takes advantage of the virus’ attack plan

      • Recall that they ingest their DNA into the host cell to “hijack” it.
  • Only works with cells that are dividing
    • Will not work with brain and spinal cord cells


Viral Vectors