A number of bacteria and protozoa are helpful in the digestion of food inside the stomach or small intestines of herbivores such as cows, goats and rabbits. Useful bacteria are also found in the human digestive system.
Useful Microorganisms: Are Microorganisms Useful To Us?
By Mr Ghaz, June 3, 2010
1. Microorganisms are useful to humans and other organisms. This includes bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa.
2. Microorganisms play an important role in food digestion, the decay process, medicine, agriculture and industry.
1. A number of bacteria and protozoa are helpful in the digestion of food inside the stomach or small intestines of herbivores such as cows, goats and rabbits. Useful bacteria are also found in the human digestive system.
2. Herbivores feed on plant tissues which contain cellulose. Herbivores do not secrete the cellulose enzyme which is important in the digestion of cellulose. Instead, certain microbes inside the stomach or small intestines of these herbivores secrete this enzyme which can digest cellulose into glucose.
3. The main source of food for termites is wood, which contains cellulose. A species of protozoa is found inside the intestines of termites. The two organisms benefit each other mutually. The termites provide food and shelter for the protozoa and the protozoa secrete cellulose enzyme for the termites to digest cellulose into glucose.
The Decay Process
1. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi act as decomposers in the ecosystem, decomposing dead plants and animals.
2. These are saprophytic microorganisms that secrete enzymes which change complex organic substances into simple molecules as follows:
Dead plants and animal tissues (complex organic Substances) — Ammonium compounds — Nitrate compounds (easily absorbed by plants)
3. Through the decay process, elements such as carbon, nitrogen and sulphur are released into the soil, making it more fertile.