Bacteria are unique, ancient forms of life that were the first to emerge on Earth. The characteristics of bacteria are the following:
Unicellular - bacteria are unicellular organisms, meaning they exist even as a single cell. They may form clusters of organisms called colonies. Microscopic - bacteria cannot be seen by the naked eye. They are very small and thus require special instruments like microscope to observe them. Prokaryotic - all bacteria do not have a nucleus that holds their genetic material. They only have a nucleoid region which barely resembles a nucleus without a nuclear membrane. Presence of cell wall - bacteria are organisms that have a cell wall made of a special protein-lipid combination called peptidoglycan. This protects them from the harsh environment and also makes them infectious. Shape - bacteria have different shapes named as coccus (sphere), spirilla (spiral), and bacilli (rod).
Examples of bacteria are Escherichia coli, Neisseria gonorrheae, Staphylococcus aureus.
The importance of bacteria are as follows:
Food - some bacteria are used to produce food for human consumption while some are food themselves for other microscopic organisms such as protists. Medicine - the medical science and biotechnology have a wide variety of use for bacteria, from producing hormones to creating vaccines from them. Decomposers - bacteria help reduce the waste here on earth. They are responsible for breaking down dead organisms or organic wastes. This helps in recycling the nutrients in the environment.
For more information about bacteria, you may click the links below: