Microbiology is one of the most applied of all the biological sciences which did not exist as a true science before the later part of 19th century.
It is defined as the study of microorganisms that is the organisms which are of microscopic dimensions and too small to be clearly perceived by the unaided human eye.
Because most of the microorganisms are only a few thousand of a mm in size, they can only be seen with the aid of microscope.
Due to the invisibility of microbes to the naked eye and the need for special techniques to study them, microbiology was the last of the three major divisions in biology (the other two are botany and zoology) to develop.
The branches that come under the large and expanding umbrella of microbiology are categorized into pure and applied sciences.
Table of Contents
Major Fields of Pure Sciences
Bacteriology: Study of bacteria
Mycology: Study of fungi (achlorophyllous, heterotrophic, eukaryotic with a rigid cell wall containing chitin/cellulose)
Protozoology: Study of protozoans (animal like single celled eukaryotic organisms).
Virology: Study of viruses and viral diseases.
Algology or Phycology: Study of algae.
Parasitology: Study of parasitism and parasites (include pathogenic protozoa, helminthes worms and certain insects).
Microbial ecology: Study of interrelationships between microbes and environment.
Microbial morphology: Study of detailed structure of microorganism.
Microbial taxonomy: Concerned with classification, naming and identification of microorganism.
Microbial Physiology: Study of metabolism of microbes at cellular and molecular levels.
Microbial genetics and Molecular Biology: Study of genetic material, structure and function and biochemical reactions of microbial cells involved in metabolism and growth.
Sagar Aryal is a microbiologist and a scientific blogger. He attended St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, Kathmandu, Nepal, to complete his Master of Science in Microbiology. He worked as a Lecturer at St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, Kathmandu, Nepal, from Feb 2015 to June 2019. After teaching microbiology for more than four years, he joined the Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, to pursue his Ph.D. in collaboration with Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany. He is interested in research on actinobacteria, myxobacteria, and natural products. He has published more than 15 research articles and book chapters in international journals and well-renowned publishers.