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Introduction to Microbes

Tiny but Mighty

Microbes affect nearly all aspects of our world. Typically, when we hear the term microbe, we think of bacteria, but really the term encompasses a large diversity of organisms, such as bacteria, Archea, fungi, viruses, protists, and even some species of single-celled plant algae. For our purposes, however, we are primarily focusing on bacterial microbes. Bacteria can:

  • break down nutrients and fix nitrogen in the soil
  • degrade hydrocarbons
  • recycle waste in aquaculture systems
  • aid the digestion process in animals and humans

Bacteria are tiny, living, single-celled microorganisms that are ubiquitous in nature; they can be found in water, soil, and the air we breathe. While typically depicted as the culprits of disease and foodborne illness, the vast majority of bacteria actually pose no harm to humans. In fact, bacteria play critical roles in many biological and ecological processes and are essential for life as we know it.

As the longest living organisms on our planet, bacteria have co-evolved alongside and forged synergistic relationships with other microbes, plants, animals and humans and have developed extensive and diverse metabolisms. This metabolic versatility has allowed bacteria to exist in a wide variety of habitats from the frozen tundra to the tropical rainforest to the extremely hot thermal springs of Yellowstone. The vast metabolic and genetic diversity that bacteria possess have also served as the toolkit for biotechnology. So, although small in size, bacteria are arguably the most important living organisms that can address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Bacillus Microbes

Bacillus are gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria that are some of the most widely distributed microorganisms in nature, participating in a variety of biochemical processes across ecologically diverse environments. For over half a century, biotechnology industries including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and agriculture have leveraged Bacillus strains for their aptitude for protein secretion, metabolic versatility, and robust growth in relatively short fermentation periods.

In addition, Bacillus are naturally resistant against a variety of harsh conditions due their spore coat. At BIO-CAT Microbials, we utilize the natural advantages Bacillus possesses to create solutions to improve the world around us.

Microbes for Humans

  • Bacteria and other microbes (to a lesser extent)reside in and on our bodies and help shape our immune system, prevent infections, aid in digestion, and even influence our mood
  • Bacteriaare used to create foods and beverages such as soy sauce, cheeses, sauerkraut, beer, wine, and kombucha

Microbes for Companion Animals

  • Bacteria can provide many of the same benefits to pets that they provide to their human owners. Some examples that may be specific interest to pet owners include:
    • Maintain healthy digestion and bowel movements
    • Contribute to healthy skin and shiny coats by aiding digestion
  • BIO-CAT and BIO-CAT Microbials offers their enzyme and probiotic solutions under the OPTIFEED® brand

Microbes for Production Animals

  • Bacteria efficiently convert food into energy through rumen fermentation
  • Bacteria can help break down nutrients and promote growth
  • Bacteria can replace antibiotics and prevent disease

Microbes for Plants

  • Bacteria perform the heavy lifting in decomposition of dead organic matter into nutrients that other forms of life depend on
  • Bacteria produce a wide range of enzymes and metabolites to support soil health
  • Bacteria provide legumes with a useable form of nitrogen via enzymatic conversion of atmospheric nitrogen

Microbes for a Better World

  • Bacteria break down hydrocarbons to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater
  • Bacteria are a resource for scientific advancements to address health, agricultural and environmental challenges


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