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Prokaryotic World

Chapter 5: Cell Structure

TermDefinition
acid-fast technique A staining process by which certain bacteria resist decolorization with acid-alcohol
Agar A polysaccharide derived from marine seaweed that is used as a solidifying agent in microbiology culture media
Arthropod an animal having jointed appendages and segmented body
Autotrophic referring to an organism that uses carbon dioxide as a carbon source
Bacillus any rod-shaped prokaryotic cell
Bloom a sudden increase in the number of cells of an organism in an environment
Broth a liquid containing nutrient for the growth of microorganisms
cell membrane A thin bilayer of phospholipids and proteins that surrounds the cytoplasm
cell wall A carbohydrate-containing structure surrounding some cells
Chlamydia a very small, round, pathogenic bacterium visible only with the electron microscope and cultivated within living cells
Chromosome A structure in the nucleoid or cell nucleus that carries hereditary information in the form of genes
Coccus a spherical-shaped prokaryotic cell
Colony a visible mass of microorganisms of one type
culture medium A mixture of nutrient in which microorganisms can grow
Cyanobacteria an oxygen-producing, pigmented bacteria occurring in unicellular and filamentous forms that carry out photosynthesis
death phase the final portion of a bacterial growth curve in which environmental factors overwhelm the population and induce death
decomposer an organisms, such as a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down dead or decaying matter
endospore an extremely resistant structure produced by some bacteria
enriched medium a growth medium in which special nutrients must be added to get a species to grow
eukayote a cell (organism) containing a cell nucleus with multiple chromosomes, a nuclear envelope, and membrane-bound compartments
extreme halophile an archeal organism that grows at very high salt concentrations
extremophile a microorganism that lives in environments such as high temperature, high acidity or high salt
Flagellum a long hair-like appendage composed of protein and responsible for motion in microorganisms
fluid mosaic referring to the model to represent the cell membranes where proteins “float” within or on a bilayer of phospholipid
genome The complete set of genes in a virus or organism
glycocalyx a viscous polysaccharide material covering many prokaryotic cells to aid in attachment to a surface and impart resistance to desiccation
gram-negative referring to a bacterial cell that stains red after Gram staining
gram-positive referring to a bacterial cell that stains purple after Gram staining
Gram stain technique staining procedure used to identify bacterial cells as gram-positive or gram-negative
growth curve the plotted or graphed measurement of the size of the population of bacteria as a function of time
heterocyst A specialized cell in some cyanobacteria that fix nitrogen gas
heterotrophic referring to an organism requiring preformed organic matter for its energy and carbon needs
hyperthermophile a prokaryote that has an optimal growth temperature above 80C
lag phase a portion of a bacterial growth curve encompassing the first few hours of the population’s history when no growth occurs
log phase the portion of a bacterial growth curve during which active growth leads to a rapid rise in cell numbers
lipopolysaccharide a molecule composed of lipid and polysaccharide that is found in the outer membrane of the gram-negative cell wall of bacterial cells
Methanogen an archaeal organism that lives on simple compounds in anaerobic environments and produces methan during its metabolism
Morphology refers to the shape and structure of cells and organisms
nitrogen fixation The process by which microorganisms convert nitrogen gas into ammonia
nucleoid the chromosomal region of a prokaryotic cell
nutrient agar a solidifying agent that contains nutrients for microbial growth
obligate intracellular parasite an organism or virus that must get it nutrition from a host cell
outer membrane a bilayer membrane forming part of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria
peptidoglycan a comple molecule of the bacterial cell wall composed of alternating untis of N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylmuramic acid crossed-linked by peptides
periplasmic space A metabolic region between the cell membrane and outer membrane of bacterial cells
pilus A hair-like extension of the plasms membrane found on the surface of many bacterial that is used for cell attachment and anchorage
plasmid A small, closed-loop molecule of DNA apart from the chromosome that replicates independently and carries nonessential genetic information
prokaryote A microorganism in the domain Bacteria or Archaea composed of single cells having a single chromosome but no cell nucleus or other membrane bound compartments
ribosome A cellular component of RNA and protein that participates in protein synthesis
rickettsiae A very small bacterial cell generally transmitted by arthropods
selective medium A growth medium that contains ingredients to inhibit certain microorganisms while encouraging the growth of others
Shock sudden loss of blood pressure and inadequate blood circulation
simple stain technique The use of a single dye to contrast cells
spirillum A bacterial cell shape characterized by twisted or curved rods
spirochete A twisted bacterial cell with a flexible cell wall containing axial filaments for motility
stationary phase The portion of a bacterial growth curve on which the reproductive and death rates of cells are equal
teichoic acid A negatively charged polysaccharide in the cell wall of gram-positive bacteria
toxin A poisonous chemical substance produced by an organism
vibrio A prokaryotic cell shape occurring as a curved rod
Created by: drmicro