Microbiology and Mycology
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This Module is a study of organisms that cannot be seen with the unaided eye unless with the help of a microscope. They are referred to as microorganisms. More commonly they are called microbes. These are bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Although viruses are strictly not organisms, they too will be discussed under the same title for convenience. Mycology which is the study of fungi includes some groups like the mushrooms with macroscopic fruiting structures, which appear seasonally above the ground. The study of microbes is called microbiology. The module starts with the history of microbiology; the discovery of microbes and the development of sterile culture techniques, and goes on to explore the diversity of microbes, their major biological characteristics and economic importance. Examples of laboratory exercises meant to familiarise the students with microbiological techniques such as, media preparation, isolation, identification, culture maintenance, growth measurements, staining techniques and preservation are presented wherever applicable.