About the Mighty Microbes Lesson
An introduction to bacterial characteristics and basic microbiological techniques.
• Students will identify the key characteristics of bacterial cells.
• Students will recognize the role of Gram-staining as a microbiological tool.
• Students will be introduced to bacterial characteristics such as cell shape, Gram reaction, and growth on media.
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms. Micro means small. There is a variety of organisms, but we will focus on bacteria. Bacteria are composed of single, prokaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells are characterized by their lack of a nucleus. Prokaryotic cells also have a cell wall in addition to a cell membrane. Many prokaryotic cells are motile, which means they can move. This is usually done by way of flagella. Flagella are whip-like structures that may be scattered over the surface of a cell or concentrated at the ends.