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Important Microbiological Research Tools You Can Use Easily

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Microbiology is all about visualising, identifying, and classifying organisms that are too small to be seen through human eye without the aid of lenses. It includes the study of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and archaea. Moreover, this discipline examines microbes from biochemical, physiological, ecological, evolutionary, and other biological aspects like the host-microbe relationship to study them in detail. This explains that to perform these activities, microbiologists need tons of microbiological research tools.

Without the aid of these microbiological research tools, microbiologists cannot gather information about anatomy, mode of transmission, disease-causing mechanism, mode of nutrition, and replication rate of microbes. Therefore, this article will first shortly discuss the number of tools that microbiologists can use and the three most important methods to identify the microorganism or bacteria. Later, it will discuss the list of tools that a microbiologist can use to study bacteria and identify disease-causing microorganisms.

What Tools Do Microbiologists Use?

There are a large number of tools that a microbiologist can use to count, visualise, classify, and identify microorganisms. Every microbiological equipment has its own function. All the tools or equipment installed in a microbiology laboratory are used to study different types of microorganisms. These include viruses, fungi, protozoa, bacteria, and other micro-sized individuals. In other words, such laboratories contain numerous equipment, from simple (inoculating loops) to complex ones (like biosafety cabinets BS-1, BS-2, BS-3, and BS-4). In broad terms, a microbiologist within the premises of laboratories uses a range of tools like an Incubator, Autoclave, Laminar air flow, Microscope, Spectrometer, Centrifuge, Weighing balance, Thermal cycler, Hot plate, pH meter, Culture mediums, Cotton plugs, Refrigerator, Microwave oven, Glasswares (Petri-dish, glass tubes, pipettes, stirrer, beakers and many more) Gyrometer (vortex) and Flow cytometer.

What Are 3 Methods Used To Identify Bacteria?

Identification and classification are important to effectively distinguish organisms based on particular characteristics like cell structure, cell metabolism and differences in cell components (DNA, protein, amino acid, pigments, antigen and fatty acids). It facilitates microbiologists and scientists to group bacteria according to their interests. The most common level of identification and classification of bacteria is the species level. At this level, types of diseases, habitat and other characteristics help us in grouping them into various sub-groups. These species later become the bases for identifying the bacteria through three main approaches. Thus it becomes necessary to buy dissertation online when working on microbiology research.

In microbiology, the literature cites three main methods to identify the bacteria, namely, staining properties, Phenotypic-observing bacterial morphology and biochemical test.

Staining Properties:

Gram staining is the most common method to identify the two main types involving Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Based on the constitutional components (Thicker peptidoglycan layer), the gram-positive bacteria retain the colour of a crystal violet stain while gram-negative wash out this stain in the staining process. Thus, crystal violent or gram staining is the most common method to identify bacteria.

Phenotypic-Observing Bacterial Morphology:

As the word ‘phenotypic’ suggests, it is the method of bacterial identification by taking into account the morphological or physical properties. Typically, the phenotypic method involves a number of other methods like observing the growth rate and colonial properties in different growth media and the application of different chemicals to identify responses of certain bacteria.

Biochemical Test

Different bacteria have different needs necessary for their growth and replication. To fuel up these unique needs, they have a different set of enzymes like catalase, urease, gelatinise, and oxidase. Thus, measuring these specie specific characteristics by the biochemical test is another important method of bacterial identification.

What Tools/Techniques Are Used To Study Bacteria?

For seeing bacteria, the microbiologist can use various tools. Different tools aim to explore different things about the nature, type, metabolism and even physiology of the bacteria. As we know that bacteria are single-celled organisms and are of various types ranging from pathogenic (disease-causing) to natural flora (that live on other animals but could not cause disease), thus, to study these microscopic bacteria, microbiologists use a number of tools, like Microscopes, Pigment analysis, Flow Cytometer, Fluorometry, cell culture, and HPLC.

Microscope

In the list of microbiological research tools, microscope always comes first. Whether you want to see the colony of a bacteria or find some morphological properties, microscope is obligatory. Moreover, depending upon the activity, the types of the microscope (light microscope, electron microscope, Scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope) may differ.

Culture

Culture is the selective medium that allows certain microorganisms to grow while inhibiting the growth of others. Thus, it is a microbiological research tool to attain only selective microbes for studying a particular stain.

Pigment Analysis

Some microbes like plants are autotrophs meaning they have chlorophyll to absorb light for photosynthesis. Thus, pigment analysis is a microbiological research tool that helps in identifying microbes by chlorophyll profiling.

HPLC

HPLC stands for high-performance liquid chromatography. It aims to separate different carotenoids and chlorophyll, and many of these are markers of different taxa.

What Tools Would You Need To Identify Microorganisms That Cause Disease?

Microorganisms are the cause of infection in humans as well as animals. The disease may be caused by many reasons, but the most frequent disease causative agents are bacteria, fungi and viruses. Likewise, other causes of diseases include trauma, sudden fall, accidents and acute organ failure. Thus, there are numerous causes of diseases, and for treatment, the examination of the exact cause of a disease is of paramount importance.

The microbiologist first examines the blood samples of the infected as well as suspected patients to identify the cause of a disease. The most common tools or techniques that help in the identification of disease-causing microorganisms are;

  1. Direct examination
  2. Cell or microbial culture
  3. Antimicrobial susceptibility
  4. Serodiagnosis

Microbiological research tools are not as difficult to use. With a little practice and knowledge, microbiologists can easily learn how to use them. Still, there are many laboratory manuals available in universities and digital libraries. Reading the fundamental rules of how to use microbiological research tools is a good method to become a good microbiology researcher.

About Post Author

john natish

Hi! I am John natish. I am a content writer and SEO expert. I love to write and share my content with my audience.
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john natishhttp://bficoin.io
Hi! I am John natish. I am a content writer and SEO expert. I love to write and share my content with my audience.

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