Branches of Microbiology

Branches of Microbiology

Micro-organism are present everywhere in nature  and this micro-organism has a great effect on other life form like human being,plants and animals in several ways.The effect of micro-organism to the environment may be desirable or undesirable.These bacteria show wide range of activity and diversity.On basis on taxonomic characters and application of micro-organism in different fields the microbiology is further divided into different branches.


On basis of Taxonomic characters  Microbiology is further divided into the following branches

  1. Bacteriology
  2. Mycology
  3. Phycology
  4. Parasitology
  5. Immunology
  6. Virology

1. Bacteriology

Bacteriology is a branch of Microbiology that deals with study of Bacteria.This Bacteria are prokaryotic, unicellular in nature.Their mode of multiplication is by Binary fission.Bacteria can be parasitic or can be free living in atmosphere.The nuclear material is not bound to nuclear membrane.This bacteria may be motile or non-motile.They may vary in their shape like rod,spiral or cocci and they may be aerobic,non-aerobic or facultative anaerobic in nature.On the basis of mode of nutrition some bacteria may have autotrophic or hetrotrophic mode of nutrition.


Mycology is a branch of microbiology that deals with study of Fungus.This fungus cells are eukaryotic in nature the nuclear material is surrounded by Chitin or cellulose or both. This fungal cells are non-photosynthetic and chemoorganotrophic in nature.These fungal cells are divided into two types and that is yeast and molds.

  • Yeast -The yeast cell may occur in single cell or pseudomycelium form.The mode of reproduction is by budding or by Spore formation.Yeast are also know as Ascomycetes and this yeast cells may be oval,rod or spherical in shape.
  • Molds-The molds grow in form of multi-cellular filamentous structure called as hyphae. This hyphae may be septed or non-septed. They can reproduce by both means of sexual and asexual mode of reproduction.

3. Phycology

Phycology is a branch of microbiology that deals with the study of algae.They are photosynthetic,eukaryotic,and multi cellular organism.

4. Parasitology

It is a branch of biology that deals with the study of parasites. This branch mainly include the study of three major group of bacteria parasitic protozoa,parasitic worms, and arthropods.In the relationship between host and parasite is also studied.This parasites may be unicellular or multi-cellular. This parasites are mainly responsible for causing infection in humans and animals.


Immunology is a branch of microbiology that deals with the study of Immune system of all organism specially human being and animals.In this branch of microbiology the relationships between host body,pathogen and immunity is studied.

6. Virology

This branch of microbiology deals with the study of Viruses.Viruses are very small ultra-microscopic in nature and they are visible through electron microscope.Viruses are metabolically inert and are completely dependent on host cell for replication.Viruses are capable to infect all types of cells from a bacteria to a human.It contain only one type of nucleic acid that is either DNA or RNA.

On the basis of taxonomic characters these were some branches of microbiology.

Their are some major applied branches of microbiology.

Applied Branches of microbiology are as follows

  1. Air Microbiology
  2. Water Microbiology
  3. Sewage Microbiology
  4. Soil Microbiology
  5. Food microbiology
  6. Milk Microbiology
  7. Industry Microbiology
  8. Medical Microbiology
  9. Geomicrobiology
  10. Biotechnology

1 Air Microbiology

Micro-organism spread through air from one place to another.The micro-organism are present everywhere in nature and the micro-organism present in air are responsible for contamination of food or transmission of disease.The diseases such as tuberculosis,Influenza , and some plant and animal fungal disease etc spread via air.So it is important to study specific area for controlling  and preventing the spread of some microbes and this all studies related air and microbes is carried out in this branch.

2.Water Microbiology

Water is the most important thing that is required for a life form to survive.So the water used should pure ,free of chemicals as well as free from disease causing organisms.Their are Municipal water purification units that are used to purify water and this quality of water is checked by examination of water.Water microbiology is used here to check whether the water is potable or not.Supply of good quality of water is very important as water can be a source for transmission of various disease.

3.Sewage Microbiology

Sewage water is the used water of the community.This sewage water contain different chemicals as well as pathogenic or non-pathogenic micro-organism.If the sewage water is kept untreated before disposal it can cause harm to the environment as well as any life form.In sewage microbiology the sewage water is treated by use of some techniques,chemicals and some useful bacteria.

4.Soil Microbiology

Soil is supposed to be source of many micro-organism.Study of micro-organism present is soil is called as soil microbiology.The soil becomes fertile if their are useful micro-organism present in soil.These micro-organism involve transformation of elements important for growth of crops as well as degradation of organic matter to simple form.The bacteria also help in fixation of atmospheric nitrogen for growth of plants.The soil is a major source of antibiotic producing micro-organism.In soil we can find variety of micro-organism like bacteria,fungi,viruses and protozoa.Thus study of soil microbiology is very important.

5.Food Microbiology

Food microbiology is a important branch as it deals with study of association of micro-organism with food.Micro-organism deal with food in two ways one it can spoil the food and spread the infection or disease.Secondly it can used some substrate and convert into a product that is fermentation. Micro-organism can ferment the substrate and form the product like curd, Idli ,Cheese, Butter etc.If the quality of food is not check properly it may result in spread of food born diseases.So the  study related fermentation and quality check of food is important

6.Milk Microbiology

Milk is a rich and one of the best food and so their are chances of contamination of milk.If the milk get contaminated their are great chances of spoilage of milk.Milk is used on large scale in dairy industry where various products like cheese,butter,ghee,curd are prepared.Useful bacterial present in milk helps in preparation of various milk product where as  harmful bacteria can spoil everything.The food born diseases can spread through milk if it is not sterilised properly.So it is important to study sterilization of milk,preparation of various milk product as well as prevention of milk born diseases.

7.Industrial Microbiology

Industrial microbiology is a branch of microbiology where large amount of substrate are converted to economically important product by use of micro-organism.Micro-organism are used in many industries on large scale for production of various product like antibiotics,beverages,Vaccines,proteins as well as food industries.Therefore the study of such organism that are be useful in industries for production of economically important product is very important

8.Medical Microbiology

In nature their are many useful micro-organism as well as many harmful micro-organism.Harmful in sense disease causing micro-organism.In this branch the study is carried out on the causative agent of disease, Identification,pathogenecity, prevention and cure of disease.It also deals with antibiotics.


This branch of microbiology studies the relation of microbes with some geological substances like formation of coal,mineral and gas formation as well as recovery of minerals from low grade ores.It also helps in degradation of hydrocarbon accumulated in nature in form of pollutants.Micro-organism are used for removal of oil spills in the ocean by degradation of hydrocarbon and save the aquatic life near the oil spill.


Biotechnology is a branch of biology that deals with the study of technology and any life form like microbes,plants animals in the sense to improve quality of life and develop new technology.It involves techniques like plant tissue culture ,Animal tissue culture,Recombinant DNA technology And genetic modification of organism.



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