You must discuss your chosen organism to tell us what type of microbe it is, what helpful beneficial actions it performs and which subfield of microbiology it is involved in. E.  Your  discussion should be well-written, in your own words, paraphrasing from only credible academic sources. You may not directly quote from your sources, minimum elaboration on the topic of a and . F.  You must also cite your credible academic reference sources with parenthetical in text citations, and provide full end ref information in

Microbiology is a broad field that encompasses the study of various microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, protists, and archaea. One such microorganism that is of great interest in microbiology is Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli. E. coli is a gram-negative bacterium that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae. It is a rod-shaped bacterium often found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, including humans.

E. coli has both beneficial and harmful strains, with some strains playing important roles in various biological processes. For instance, E. coli possesses metabolic pathways that enable it to break down certain complex carbohydrates, such as cellulose and lignin, which are abundant in plant material. This ability makes E. coli valuable in the field of biotechnology, as it can be used to produce biofuels and other renewable chemicals from plant biomass (1).

Furthermore, some strains of E. coli have a symbiotic relationship with humans, residing in the intestines and contributing to the digestive process. E. coli helps break down complex food compounds and synthesizes certain vitamins, such as vitamin K, in the gut. These actions are crucial for human health and demonstrate the beneficial role of E. coli in our bodies.

In the field of microbiology, E. coli is primarily studied in the subfield of bacteriology. Bacteriology focuses on the study of bacteria and their interactions with humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Within bacteriology, E. coli is particularly important due to its wide distribution and its diverse genetic characteristics. Researchers study its molecular biology, genetics, pathogenesis, and ecological interactions to gain insights into the biology of bacteria in general.

One area of research involving E. coli is studying its role as a model organism for genetic studies. E. coli has a relatively small genome and a short generation time, making it ideal for genetic manipulation and experimentation. This bacterium has been extensively used to understand the fundamentals of gene expression, DNA replication, and cell division. Its genetics have provided valuable insights into basic cellular processes that are applicable to a wide range of organisms.

Another important aspect of E. coli research is its pathogenic strains that can cause diseases in humans. For example, strains of E. coli such as O157:H7 can cause severe foodborne illnesses, including bloody diarrhea and kidney failure. By studying the virulence factors and mechanisms of pathogenesis of E. coli, researchers aim to develop better prevention and treatment strategies for these infections. This field of study falls under the subfield of medical microbiology, which focuses on understanding and combating infectious diseases caused by microorganisms.

In conclusion, E. coli is a versatile microorganism that has both beneficial and harmful strains. Its ability to break down complex carbohydrates and its symbiotic role in the human gut make it valuable in biotechnology and human health. In the field of microbiology, E. coli is primarily studied in bacteriology, where it serves as a model organism for genetic studies and as a pathogen for understanding infectious diseases. By studying E. coli, researchers continue to expand their knowledge of the biology, genetics, and pathogenicity of microorganisms, contributing to advancements in various fields, including medicine, biotechnology, and environmental science.

References:

1. Keseler, I. M., et al. (2017). EcoCyc: reflecting new knowledge about Escherichia coli K-12. Nucleic Acids Research, 45(D1), D543-D550. (https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkw953)