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Bacteria and Viruses

prokaryote

unicellular organism lacking a nucleus

bacillus

rod-shaped prokaryote

coccus

spherical prokaryote

spirillum

spiral or corkscrew-shaped prokaryote

chemoheterotroph

organism that must take in organic molecules for both energy and carbon

photoheterotroph

organism that is photosynthetic but needs organic compounds as a carbon source

photoautotroph

organism that uses energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water to carbon compounds

chemoautotroph

organism that makes organic carbon molecules from carbon dioxide using energy from chemical reactions

obligate aerobe

organism that requires a constant supply of oxygen in order to live

obligate anaerobe

organism that cannot live in the presence of oxygen

facultative anaerobe

organism that can survive with or without oxygen

binary fission

type of asexual reproduction in which an organism replicates its DNA and divides in half, producing two identical daughter cells

conjugation

form of sexual reproduction in which paramecia and some prokaryotes exchange genetic information

endospore

type of spore formed when a bacterium produces a thick internal wall that encloses its DNA and a portion of its cytoplasm

nitrogen fixation

process of converting nitrogen gas into ammonia

virus

particle made up of nucleic acid, protein, and in some cases lipids that can replicate only by infecting living cells

capsid

outer protein coat of a virus

bacteriophage

virus that infects bacteria

lytic infection

process in which a virus enters a cell, makes a copy of itself, and causes the cell to burst

lysogenic infection

process by which a virus embeds its DNA into the DNA of the host cell and is replicated along with the host cell's DNA

prophage

the viral DNA that is embedded in the host cell's DNA

retrovirus

virus that contains RNA as its genetic information

pathogen

disease-causing agent

vaccine

a preparation of weakened or killed pathogens

antibiotic

compound that blocks the growth and reproduction of bacteria

viroid

single-stranded RNA molecule that has no surrounding capsids

prion

infectious particle made up of protein rather than RNA or DNA

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