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Bacteria together with Blue-green Algae are sometimes called Monera.


What are Bacteria?

Bacteria are microbes.

These are minute living things.

Microbes are so tiny they can only be seen through a microscope


Where are microbes found?

Microbes are found everywhere.

Microbes are found in the earth, water, air, plants and animals.

Microbes are not green because they have no chlorophyll, so they do not depend on sunlight to make their food.

Microbes are plentiful where there is the right food, moisture and temperature to enable them to grow.

How do microbes spread?

Because they are so tiny, microbes spread easily from one place to another.

They can be carried on air currents, in water and on and in the bodies of other living creatures.

Scientists are worried that bacteria could be carried to and from the plants by space travel.

When conditions are not suitable for them to feed and grow, many bacteria form spores.

These spores are resting stages when normal life almost comes to a stop. They can survive conditions that would kill most other living things. They are very light and can be blown about in air currents.

This is how bacteria have spread to all parts of the world's surface.




How many kinds of bacteria are there?





There are hundreds of different kinds of bacteria.

Some bacteria are beneficial.

When plants and animals die bacteria help the process of decay. The decayed plants and animals then pass back into the soil to give nutrients to new plants and animals.

Bacteria do many important jobs.

They help to make cheese and yoghurt and many other foodstuffs.

Yeast is a microbe and is used in making bread.

If bread has no yeast it will not rise.



Some bacteria can cause tooth decay.

Some bacteria can make you ill.



How do bacteria reproduce?

Bacteria love warmth and moisture and rapidly reproduce themselves in these conditions.

They reproduce by splitting in two.


What kills bacteria?

Bacteria are killed instantly by strong heat, sunlight and some poisons.

Viruses are also microbes.

You will often hear people call microbes - GERMS.