Where do Microorganisms Live?Microorganisms may be single-celledlike bacteria, some algae and protozoa,or multicellular, such as algae and fungi.They can survive under all types ofenvironment, ranging from ice coldclimate to hot springs and deserts tomarshy lands. They are also foundinside the bodies of animals includinghumans. Some microorganisms grow onother organisms while others existfreely. Microorganisms like amoeba canlive alone, while fungi and bacteria may live incolonies.
Citrus canker Bacteria AirRust of wheat Fungi Air / SeedYellow mosaic ofOkra (Lady’s finger) Virus Waterbhindi
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ImportanceMicroorganisms are vital to humans and the environment, as theyparticipate in the Earths element cycles such as the carbon cycleand nitrogen cycle, as well as fulfilling other vital roles in virtuallyall ecosystems, such as recycling other organisms dead remainsand waste products through decomposition. Microorganisms alsohave an important place in most higher-order multicellularorganisms as symbionts. Many blame the failure of Biosphere 2on an improper balance of microorganisms.
Use in water treatmentThe majority of all oxidative sewage treatmentprocesses rely on a large range ofmicroorganisms to oxidise organic constituentswhich are not amenable to sedimentation orflotation. Anaerobic microorganisms are also usedto reduce sludge solids producing methane gas(amongst other gases) and a sterile mineralisedresidue. In potable water treatment, one method,the slow sand filter, employs a complexgelatinous layer composed of a wide range ofmicroorganisms to remove both dissolved andparticulate material from raw water.
Use in energyMicrobes are used in fermentation to produce ethanol, and in biogas reactors to produce methane.Scientists are researching the use of algae to produceliquid fuels, and bacteria to convert various forms ofagricultural and urban waste into usable fuels.