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Bacterial Genetics, chapter Metabolism, and Structure icrobial genetics, metabolism, and structure are the keys to microbial viability and survival. These processes involve numerous pathways that are widely varied, often complicated, and frequently interactive. Essentially, survival requires energy to fuel the synthesis of materials necessary for growth, propagation, and carrying out all other metabolic processes (Figure 2-1). Although the goal of survival is the same for all organisms, the strategies microorganisms use to accomplish this vary substantially.
Knowledge regarding genetic, metabolic, and structural characteristics of microorganisms provides the basis for understanding almost every aspect of diagnostic microbiology, including:
Microorganisms vary greatly in many genetic and physiologic aspects, and a detailed consideration of all these differences is beyond the scope of this textbook. Therefore, bacterial systems are used as a model to discuss microbial genetics, metabolism, and structure. Information regarding characteristics of fungi, viruses, and parasites are found in the chapters discussing these specific organism groups.
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