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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

The Domain Eubacteria

Eubacteria, also know as “true bacteria”, are microscopic organisms that have prokaryotic cells. Because of their prokaryotic cells, they have a rigid cell wall but no mitochondria or other large organelles, and they have a single chromosome that is not within a nucleus. Most reproduce asexually.

Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are Eubacteria that have been living on our planet for over 3 billion years. This bacterium grows in mats and mounds in the shallow parts of the ocean. Today it is only common in certain regions, but a few billion years ago, there was so much of it that, through photosynthesis, it was able to add enough oxygen to Earth’s primitive atmosphere for animals that require oxygen could survive.

Some Eubacteria can cause problems for human health. For instance, Streptococci bacteria cause strep throat. If Staphylococci bacteria gets into a cut in your skin is can cause an infection that is called a staph infection. Bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella are sometimes found in undercooked meat and eggs and can make people sick. Other bacteria are beneficial to human health, such as those found in yogurt.

People have found that some types of Eubacteria can be very useful. Many forms are able to breakdown waste and are used at wastewater treatment plants and in septic systems. Eubacteria are also used to ferment grapes to make wine and to ferment milk to make certain cheeses.

Last modified March 2, 2008 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF