The Role of Bacteria in the World

A War We Need Podcast

In the podcast, A War We Need, on Radiolab they discussed coccolithophores and how they affect humans. Viruses are decimating the coccolithophores and they have a few ways to fight off these viruses. When a virus enters the coccolithophore, they send out a chemical signal and the other cells change their DNA and result in having jagged scales instead of plates. As a last resort, the coccolithophores shuts down to prevent a spread of the virus. This “war” is important because when the coccolithophore blooms, they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. They are responsible for half of the oxygen in which we breathe. This is why this battle is so important; because we need this “war” in order to survive.

Importance of Bacteria: First Example

Cyanobacteria is a type of bacteria in the kingdom Eubacteria, that is very important in its environment. Cyanobacteria is often found in aquatic habitats and is typically found in freshwater. For example, a clear body of water can often have areas that turn blue-green cyanobacteria blooms. These blooms can often produce nerve and liver toxins. Microcystins and Anatoxin-A. Microcystins are a group of toxins caused by cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria can often have a negative effect on its enviroment.

Importance of Bacteria: Second Example

Rhizobia is a type of soil bacteria that works inside legume root nodules to convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia. The ammonia is quickly turned into organic compounds and the bacteria passes on the amount of nitrogen the plant needs. This process is called nitrogen fixation, and the rhizobia and plant have a symbiotic relationship. The plant receives ammonia from the bacteria and the bacteria receives carbohydrates from the plant. This symbiosis results in legumes being popular agricultural crops and the soil being much more fertile. The plants do not require very much fertilizer because they have nitrogen provided to them by rhizobia. This symbiotic relationship greatly benefits agriculture.

Works Cited

"Information about Cyanobacteria (Blue-green Algae)." Information about Cyanobacteria (Blue-green Algae). N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/algae/publichealth/generalcyanobacteria.html>.

"Rhizobia | micropop." Rhizobia | micropop. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. <http://micropop.cbs.umn.edu/projects/rhizobia.html>.

"The Legume-Root Nodule Symbiosis." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. <https://www.boundless.com/microbiology/definition/nodulation-factor/>.

Young, Peter. "What are rhizobia?." rhizobium. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. <http://rhizobium.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/what-are-rhizobia/>.