History Of Bacteria

2018-02-04 10:02:00

Credit: pexels.com

Credit: pexels.com

Anton van Leeuwenhoek - the Dutchman, was the first person to see bacteria. He first observed bacteria through his single-lens microscope in 1674. He made his own simple lenses.  During his lifetime he made more than 250 microscopes consisting of home ground lenses mounted in brass and silver plates. His greatest discovery was on June16,1675 when he saw bacteria, fungi and many protozoa in rain water. He called them “animalcules”. Leeuwenhoek sent a report of his sightings of bacteria and algae to the Royal Society in London. For his contributions he is honoured as Father of Microbiology.

Louis Pasteur – he demonstrated that the fermentation process was caused by the growth of microorganisms or bacteria. Pasteur discovered the process of pasteurization killing bacteria by heating. He coined the term vaccine. He invented a number of vaccines including one against rabies. He also studied the bacterium that causes a disease called fowl cholera.

Robert Koch- a German Doctor showed the first time in 1876 that bacteria can cause disease. This was followed by Robert Koch’s experiments on bacteria as a source of disease, specifically the anthrax bacillus, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1905. He introduced staining techniques and also methods of obtaining bacteria in pure culture using solid media. He discovered bacillus tuberculosis in 1882 and Vibrio cholera in 1883.

Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) - The German medical scientist developed the first theory concerning how bacteria cause diseases and how the immune system fights these micro-organisms.

Wakker- a young Dutch pathologist, working on the so-called yellow disease of hyacinth, proved it to be caused by bacteria. He published his result from 1883-89.

Dr. Eli Metchnikoff- Russian immunologist, In early 1900s, suggested that a synergistic interaction exists between bacteria and their host. The process known as phagocytosis.



Anton van Leeuwenhoek first discovered bacteria with a single lens microscope

Ferdinand Cohn identified some of the first photosynthetic bacteria and proposed taxonomy for this microorganism.


Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg introduced the name bacterium.


Ferdinand Cohn categorized bacteria in four gropus based on their shapes- sphericals, short rods, long rods- threads and spirals


Louis Pasteur demonstrated that the lactic acid fermentation is caused by the growth of microorganisms


Robert Koch demonstrated that anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis


Thomas J. Burrill first discovered bacteria as causative organisms of plant diseases


Danish Physician, Hans Christian Gram developed a widely used microbiological staining technique (Gram staining) that is still used in the identification and characterization of bacteria.


S. Winogradsky, a Russian microbiologist pioneered concept of biogeochemical cycle. He reported that Beggiatoa oxidized hydrogen sulphide as an energy source and formed intracellular sulphur droplets. He discovered the first known form of lithotrophy.  


Robert Koch founder of modern bacteriology published the postulates which are four criteria designed to establish a relationship between a causative microbe and a disease.


Paul Ehrlich developed the first drug for syphilis


Felix de Herelle, a French Canadian Microbiologist, discovered bacteriophages with other colleagues


British bacteriologist Frederick Griffith observed that nonvirulent pneumococcal bacteria became virulent when injected into mice along with dead virulent Pneumococcus thus initiating the understanding of gene transfer among bacteria.


Lederberg and Tatum showed that the bacterium Escherichia colientered a sexual phase during which it could share genetic information through bacterial conjugation.


Carl Woese observed that archaea have a separate line of evolutionary descent from bacteria and eukaryotic life forms.



Source: vle.du.ac.in