History of the Universe

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Bacterial Benefits

Despite their relative simplicity, bacteria carry out most of the key chemical changes of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in the living world. The eukaryotes, like us humans, perform relatively small changes to their molecules.

Benefits of bacteria include:

    Bacteria are the only living things which can fix nitrogen. They are therefore essential to all other life on Earth.

    Some plants such as beans keep nitrogen fixing bacteria as symbionts in nodules on their root.

    Bacteria are the major decomposers of dead plants and animals, so freeing their atoms to be re-used by other living things.

    Cows and other animals keep bacteria in their stomachs, as only bacteria can break down the tough cell walls of plants.

    People use bacteria to turn wine into vinegar and milk into cheese and yogurt.

    They are increasingly used in biotechnology to manufacture proteins.

There is information about good and bad bacteria at Good and Bad Bacteria

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History of the Universe eBook
History of the Universe eBook
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Written by Wyken Seagrave
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