Environmental Factors that Influence Growth and Survival of Bacteria

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Microbiology : Bacteria

The rate of growth of a microbial population depends on the nature and availability of water and nutrients, temperature, pH, the partial pressure of oxygen and solute concentrations.


ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE GROWTH AND SURVIVAL

 

 

The rate of growth of a microbial population depends on the nature and availability of water and nutrients, temperature, pH, the partial pressure of oxygen and solute concentrations. In many laboratory experiments the microorganisms are provided with an excess of complex organic nutrients and are maintained at optimal pH and temperature. This enables growth to be very rapid and the results visualized within a relatively short time period. Such idealized conditions rarely exist in nature, where microorganisms not only compete with one another for nutrients but also grow under suboptimal conditions. Particular groups of organisms are adapted to survive under particular conditions; thus Gram-negative bacteria tend to be aquatic whereas Gram-positive bacteria tend to prefer more arid conditions such as the skin. The next two sections of this chapter will consider separately the physicochemical factors that affect growth and survival of bacteria, and the availability and nature of the available nutrients.

 

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