Study Questions


1. Discuss the difference between a phylogenetic classification scheme and a clalssification scheme based on convenience(one which has no, or only assumed but not proved phylogeny associated with it).

2. List the technological advancements that were the cause for additions of new kingdoms to the first historical two kingdom classification scheme to eventually form the five kingdom classification scheme used today.

3. In Whittaker's five kingdom classification, he related the animal, plant, and fungi knigdoms using what characteristics?

4. In which of Whittaker's five kingdoms will you find the following types of organisms?

a. procaryotic
b. eucaryotic
c. single cell
d. multicellular
e. photosynthetic

5. List the differences between procaryotic and eucaryotic cells.

6. List the taxonomic hierarchy starting with the most general, or largest grouping, and end with the most specific or smallest grouping.

7. Carl Woese based the formation of his three domain classification scheme primarily on what characteristics of organisms?

8. How do Archaebacteria differ from Eubacteria?

9. Draw Whittaker's five kingdom classification scheme and label each kingdom. Draw Woese's three domain classification scheme and label the three domains. Indicate how phylogeny is incorporated into both of these classification schemes.


1. List the four nutritional groups into which all organisms can be placed according to the carbon and energy source they utilize.

2. Define each of these groups as to what kind of carbon and energy source they utilize.

3. Give an example of organisms (higher animals, plants, bacteria, etc.) that belong in each of these groups.

4. Why are carbohydrates the preferred carbon and energy sources for most organisms rather than chemical compounds such as amino acids or alcohols?

5. Give an example of an inorganic and an organic source if nitrogen for organisms.

6. Define the process called nitrogen fixation.

7. Differentiate between macronutrients and micronutrients. How are they supplied to media? Give an example of each group and the role that it plays in the metabolism of the cell.

8. What are growth factors? List three examples of growth factors. How are they supplied to media? Under what circumstances would you add growth factors to media?

9. What is the function of a chemical buffer in media? What compounds found in nutrient broth act as chemical buffers?

10. What are the characteristics of agar that make it such an excellent solidifying agent?

11. Define the following: a. a complex medium b. a chemically define or synthetic medium.

12. Discuss ways in which media can be sterilized (autoclaving and filtration). What is standard autoclave temperature and pressure? Discuss positive and negative filtration techniques. What is the most gentle method of sterilizing media?

13. List the five groups in which organisms can be placed based on their oxygen gas requirements. What are the oxygen gas requirements of the organisms in each of these groups?

14. Define generation time.

15. Draw and label the typical bacterial growth curve. Discuss what is happening to the population of bacteria during each stage.


1. List the 4 most common energy yielding pathways utilized by organisms.

2. Identify the electron donor and final electron acceptor in each of the above pathways.

3. Compare and contrast the energy (ATP) yield from these pathways (excluding photosynthesis).

4. What energy yielding pathway is common to both fermentation and aerobic respiration?

5. Name the main parts of the aerobic respiration pathway. (3 parts are present). Which of these three parts yields the most ATP?

6. Where in the eucaryotic cell does glycolysis occur? Where does the Kreb's cycle and electron transfer system occur in this cell? Where do they occur in the procaryotic cell?

7. How is the process of aerobic respiration in the chemoautotroph different from this process in other nutritional groups?

8. How is bacterial photosynthesis different from the photosynthesis carried out by higher plants?

9. How is the photosynthetic process carried out by the Cyanobacteria different from the photosynthesis carried out by other bacteria?

10. What is the difference between the photosynthetic process carried out by the photoautotrophic bacteria and the photosynthesis carried out by the photoheterotrophic bacteria?


1. List the characteristics that differentiate procaryotic cells from eucaryotic cells.

2. List the three most common cellular morphologies seen in clinically significant bacteria.

3. List and describe the cellular arrangements seen in cocci, rod, and spiral shaped bacteria.

4. Name a disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and indicate where in the body it is found.

5. Name a disease caused by the following bacteria: Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Treponema pallidum, Borrelia burgdorferi, Escherichia coli, Neisseria gonorrhoreae, and Neisseria meningitidis.

6. Name the advantages that a capsule gives a bacterium in its environment. How does the loss of the ability to form a capsule effect a bacterium?

7. Differentiate between capsules and slime layers.

8. List the structure and chemical composition of the Gram+ and Gram - cell wall.

9. What is the chemical makeup of peptidoglycan and where is it found in the cell walls of Eubacteria?

10. What is the advantage of the periplasmic space found in the Gram - cell wall?

11. How do penicillin and the enzyme lysozyme effect the cell wall of bacteria?

12. How are the cell walls of the Eubacteria different from the cell walls of the Archeaobacteria?

13. What is the chemical composition of the bacterial cell membrane? How is the membrane structured?

14. What is the function of the bacterial cell membrane? Is this function different from the function of the cell membranes of the eucaryotes?

15. How are the cell membranes of the Eubacteria different from the cell membranes of the Archeaobacteria?

16. List the cytoplasmic contents of the of the typical procaryotic cell.

17. How do the ribosomes of procaryotic cellsl differ from the ribosomes of eucaryotic cells? What is similar about them?

18. In what chemical form (s) is carbon stored in the bacterial cell?

19. What is the chemical composition of volutin? Can sulfur be stored by bacteria? Why do bacteria store these compounds in their cytoplasm?

20. Describe the nuclear apparatus of the procaryotic cell (what is the nucleic acid and how is it structured). Is it bound by a nuclear membrane?

21. How do procaryotes reproduce? Is this a sexual or asexual process?

22. Compare the pilus, fimbriae, and flagella of bacteria functionally and structurally.

23. How do the fimbriae aid bacteria in causing disease?

24. Among the Mycoplasmas, Rickettsias, and Chlamydia, which are intracelluar parasites and which are free living? List the diseases caused by each group. Which of these groups is considered the smallest free living organisms known? Of the cellular parasites, what do they require (if it is known) from the host cell in order to reproduce and grow? Which organisms in the above groups lack a cell wall? Since they have no cell wall, what chemical is present in their cell membrane that gives it stability?

25. By what mechanisms can bacteria obtain new genetic information? (a total of 4)

26. Define the following: a mutation, a point mutation or base substitution, an insertion or deletion mutation, a frameshift mutation. What changes in the cell can these mutations cause?

27. Discuss how a bacterium can receive new DNA through the process of transformation and conjugation.

28. In the process of transformation, can all bacteria take up free DNA that is present in their environment?

29. In the process of conjugation, there is the possibility of f orming an HFR cell. Define what an HFR cell is and how it functions in conjugaiton. What is an F+ and an F- cell. How do they function in conjugation? When conjugation occurs, does the F- cell (the recipient) always become F+? Why?


1. List the characteristics common to all viruses.

2. Draw and label the structure of a generic virus (include the core, nucleic acid, protein coat, capsomeres, envelope, and spikes).

3. What are the two most common morphologies of viruses? Draw examples.

4. Into what groups are viruses classified? List the characteristics of a virus that are used to place them in one of these groups.

5. What is a bacteriophage? Draw a diagram of the T4 bacteriophage.

6. List the steps involved in the lytic life cycle of a virus using the bacteriphage as an example. Explain what is happening at each step.

7. How is the lysogeneic cycle of a virus different fromt he lytic cycle?

8. Draw and label the Single Step Growth Curve of a lytic virus.

9. What is a virus called when its nucleic acid is incorporated into the genome of the host cell?

10. How is the life cycle of an animal virus different from the life cycle of a bacteriophage?

11. Define the term "cell culture"

12. What are cell cultures used for in the clinical laboratory?

13. How do most anti-viral agents inhibit the growth of viruses?

14. What is the action of the anti-viral agents called protease inhibitors?

15. What is reverse transcriptase and how does it effect the replication of certain viruses?

16. Compare and contrast the different hepatitis viruses as to:
a. chronicity
b. mode of transmission
c. treatment
d. availability of a vaccine

17. How and where are interferons produced? How do they inhibit the growth of viruses?

18. Describe the organisms called viroids. Do they cause human disease?

19. Describe the organisms called prions. Do they cause human disease? If so, name the diseases and describe their symptoms.


1. List five ways in whhich fungi are economically important to us.

2. What are the nutitional requirements of most fungi?

3. List the growth requirements of fungi (such as pH, temp, oxygen etc,).

4. Draw and label the basic structure of a mold, the hypha.

5. What is the chemical composition of the cell wall of fungi?

6. List the four phyla found in the kingdom fungi and list the characteristics of the fungi that place them in each phylum - such as: reproduction, morphological complexity, and habitat.

7. Indicate the genus of a fungus found in each of the three phyla that we examined iin laboratory.

8. Which of the phyla of fungi produce mycotoxins? Name a well studied mycotoxin.

9. Distinguish between dermatomycoses and systemic mycoses. Name several of each of these diseases.

10. What is the main mode of transmittance of the systmeic mycoses?

11. What is the most common treatment for systmeic mycosis?

12. What two microorganisms make up the lichen?


1. What are the environmental conditions required by protozoa (such as: pH, temp, oxygen, ect.)?

2. What are the nutritional requirements of the protozoa?

3. List the classification of the protozoa discussed in class and indicate the characteristics of the organisms that place them in their classification group.

4. Name by genus and species the clinically significant (ones that cause disease) members of each group and indicate the diseases they cause.



1. Definie "normal flora".

2. Where in the human body do we find normal flora?

3. What benefit is normal flora to us? Is it a danger to us?

4. Describe the progress of disease in a human body (such as: incubation period, etc.).

5. Differentiate between exotoxins and endotoxins.

6. Give examples of bacteria that produce these types of toxins.

7.. Discuss how the following enzymes produced by some bacteria increase their ability to invade the animal body: hyaluronidase, hemolysins,coagulase,kinases,leukocidins.

8. Define the terms "tissue affinity" and "infective dose".

9. What are the four most common mechanisms of communicating a microorganism from one host to another. Describe these methods of communication and list ways that might be used to interrupt this communication.


Last Updated: 4/25/16