History of microbiology

Contribution in Microbiology

A.V. Leeuwenhoek (1681-1695)

• Prepared indigenous microscope

• Observed the movement of bacteria

• Examined animal and plant tissues

• Discovered blood cells

• First to see living sperm cells of animals

• Discovered microscopic animals such as nematodes and rotifers.

L. Pasteur (1681-1695)

• Demonstrated the fermentation technique

• Opened the new domain of stereochemistry

• Pasteurization was discovered for food materials

• Discovered few species of bacteria responsible for human illnesses

• Developed vaccines against chicken cholera, anthrax

Thomas H. Huxley (1870)

• Clearly explained the term bio-genesis and abiogenesis which were later explained by experimental means.

• But he clearly demarcated the two processes involving origin of life from non-living entities and also the origin of life from pre-existing life-forms.

Ferdinand Julius Cohn (1872)

• He worked on the classification of bacteria;

• Establish the recognition of bacteria as a separate group of living organisms different from plants or animals.

• His contributions include

• systematic classification of bacteria,

• discovery of bacterial spore

Robert Koch (1876-1886)

• Identified the cause of Anthrax disease

• Grow these bacteria in synthetic agar medium

• Isolated Mycobacterium tuberculosis

• Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1905

• Introduced the famous Koch’s Postulates

• Activation and inactivation of the specific set of genes

Tyndal (1877)

• He denoted the simple method of sterilization called Tyndallization, which was the effective means of sterilization before autoclaving

• It was just by repeated heating of the food substance at the boiling temperature, which killed the vegetative forms of the bacteria and also the spores to an appreciable extent.

Joseph Lister (1878)

• Introduced the first aseptic technique to surgery, it is by treating the hospital equipment with carbolic acid or phenol; it substantially reduced the rate of fatality by more than 50 %.

• It is a very simple method of applying antiseptic but actually saved millions of lives during the application of surgical procedures.

• He is known as the father of antiseptics.

Albert L. Neisser (1879)

• He is remembered mainly as the discoverer of the etiologic agent of gonorrhea, the major cause of death due to uncontrolled sexual contact.

• The generic name “Neisseria” was proposed in 1885 by an Italian bacteriologist V. Trevisan, thus Neisser’s name is immortal with this bacterial genus.

Christian Gram (1884)

• Denoted the Gram staining method using Crystal violet and Lugol’s iodine and classified bacteria on the basis of the stain they retain as Gram +ve and Gram –ve, this also gave an insight into the cell wall structure of bacteria

Metchnikoff (1884)

• Discovered the process of phagocytosis after experimenting on the larvae of starfish. • He realized that the process of digestion in micro-organisms was essentially the same as that carried out by white blood cells

A.B.Frank (1889)

• He denoted the unique association between higher plants and fungi, where the plants provide shelter while the fungi absorb the nutrients.

• Reported for the first time the organism of Mycoplasma which is a prokaryote without a proper cell wall

E. Von Behring (1890)

• He was the discoverer of diphtheria antitoxin and attained a great reputation by that means and by his contributions to the study of immunity.

• He won the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1901 for developing a serum therapy against diphtheria using horse blood

S. Winogradsky (1895)

• Prepared the simple device in the form of an artificial column for the growth of different soil-borne and aquatic bacteria.

• He also reported the free-living nitrogen fixer Clostridium.

Bordet (1895)

• He indicated that two elements present in the human serum causing the lysis of bacterial cell walls.

• “Bordet-Wassermann’s reaction”, helps in the detection of the presence of some bacteria that cause diseases like typhoid, tuberculosis, syphilis.

• He was awarded Nobel Prize in 1919.

Ronald Ross (1899)

• Denoted the unique life cycle of the malarial parasite Plasmodium

• He carried out his research in the P.G. Hospital, Calcutta; India.

• He was awarded with the Nobel Prize in 1902 for this discovery

Hugo de Vries (1901)

Phenomenon mutation actually explains how an organism can actually modify itself under the influence of
different natural or artificial chemical or physical agents commonly termed as mutagens

Richet (1902)

Explained the phenomena of in-vitro anaphylactic reaction and also the passive anaphylactic reaction.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for this work in 1913.

Halberstaedter and Prowazek (1907)

Discovered an organism called Chlamydia, commonly called the parrot fever virus which was intermediate between virus and prokaryotes, they only had a nucleic acid within and an outer cell wall containing a high amount of protein.

These organisms are thus acellular, represented by elementary particles, pathogenic to humans and other organisms, causing diseases like Trachomatis and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Rocha Lima (1916)

He denoted the infectious prokaryotic organism causing typhus fever in Brazil and it was named as Rickettsia

D.H.Bergey (1923)

The first authentic classification of bacteria was proposed on the basis of structure and functions. The first edition of Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology was initiated by action of the Society of American Bacteriologists

A. Fleming (1928)

The discovery of the first antibiotic penicillin was actually an accident. Fleming observed in contaminated Petri-plates of Gram-positive bacteria, some green mold colonies, which prevented the growth of the bacteria producing a clear zone of inhibition. Thus the compound was purified.

Later Florey and Chain through their untiring effort purified and detoxified the drug and it was introduced to the market

Kary Mullis (1988)

He used a heat-stable enzyme from Thermus aquaticus to establish polymerase chain reaction technology. This enzyme was stable even at 100ºC, as a result of which it retains its function, even when the DNA double helix is denatured at 95 ºC as the first step in the polymerase chain reaction.

The DNA polymerase replicates the DNA of interest plus oligonucleotide primers on either side. The primers are allowed to anneal and the reaction repeated to amplify the target DNA many-fold. After this, it became a very important tool in carrying DNA fingerprinting. Mullis was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993.

Hartwell, Hunt and Nurse (1988)

Mechanism of cell cycle regulation became a very important tool in regulating cancer and the three scientists received the Nobel Prize in 2001. Cell cycle regulation by cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase Nobel Prize in 2001

Stanley Falkow (1988)

Proposed a molecular version of Koch’s postulates which shows the universal application of Koch’s postulate. This was in the light of the expression of the virulent gene in the pathogen and simultaneous expression of the sensitive gene in the host

Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell (1995)

They successfully cloned Dolly, a Finn-Dorset ewe, which was the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from
an adult cell. Dolly was formed by taking a cell from the udder of her biological mother. Her embryo was created by taking the cell and inserting it into a sheep’s ovum.

The embryo was then placed inside a female sheep that went through a normal pregnancy. She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and lived there from her birth in 1996 until her death in 2003 when she was six.

Helenius, Boije (2000)

They along with their colleagues developed the mechanism of Gene Delivery into intact plants using the Helios Gene Gun, thus the gene fragment was made to enter the plant system without using any bacterial plasmid

Arnold (2011)

He and others and others showed that the pathogenic bacteria Helicobacter pylori, responsible for causing Gastric ulcer activates the CD4 cells in the trachea preventing asthma, and another relative hypersensitivity in mice model and also reduce the allergy-related reaction by preventing the entry of eosinophils.

Riyaz. A. Shah (2012)

He and his colleagues created Noorie, the first cloned pashmina goat at the faculty of veterinary sciences and animal husbandry of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-Kashmir) by using advanced reproductive techniques.

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