What Websites Have Image Libraries for Bacteria and other Microorganisms

What Websites Have Image Libraries for Bacteria and other Microorganisms

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What Websites Have Image Libraries for Bacteria and other Microorganisms?

With age of cell phone microscopes and hand held spectrometers it would be interesting and valuable to be able to compare in-home/at-work microbiology with data-banks. To be able to test for health or enjoy the visuals of tree of life seem relevant. What websites are out there?

While I doubt that this might be possible in all cases (and I would be careful about classifications), there are indeed some great ressources, which contain a lot of images. Since there is a vast number of bacteria present on this planet, there is of course a limitation to bacteria available in photos, representing only the most common or important.

These are:

Then there is an information page available from the CDC, which informs about parasitic diseases. These are non-bacterial, but probably also interesting. It can be found here:


T he term ‘Microbiology’ first originated from the Greek words “mikros” and “bios“, meaning small and life. It is essentially a branch of science that focuses on the study of microscopic organisms.

Usually, there are three distinct classes of Micro-Organisms. First type is a unicellular microscopic organism that contains just a single cell. The second type of micro-organism is multi-cellular and finally, the last type is known as a-cellular, meaning lack of cells. The counts of microscopic organisms or microbes on earth are huge. These microbes are only visible under a microscope. Microbiology is the study of all these micro-organisms.

History of Microbiology

E Coli


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The subject is categorized into sub-disciplines such as:

    – Study about microscopic viruses.
  • Bacteriology – The branch of science that deals with the study of small, microscopic bacteria. – Microorganisms like protozoal parasites are covered under the sub-discipline of Parasitology. – Study of fungus.
  • Algology – The study of Algae.
  • Nematology – It is about study the specifics of nematodes.

Here, it is worth mentioning that virus, although microscopic are nowadays termed as “Organisms” due to their very complex molecular pattern. Microbiology and Immunology are closely related.

Studies prove that microbes are diverse organisms that can grow and thrive in any environment, regardless of how extreme it is. From hot, volcanic springs to freezing, Antarctic deserts, from salt flats to pools of saturated brine, most microbes can survive anywhere.

Fortunately, these bacteria and microbes are not just a dreadful source of diseases and sickness. Instead, they are useful for a variety of purposes.

  • Enzymes from bacteria are of great use in biotechnological industries.
  • Utility products like biological washing powders comprise strong portions of protein and fat-degrading enzymes from bacteria.
  • Production of ice-creams and artificial snow is also a contribution of such bacterial enzymes.

All infectious diseases are caused by microbial pathogens. If it wasn’t for microbiologists, the world would have been an unhealthy place to live in. Small infections would have proved detrimental. Thanks to Microbiology that allows scientists to examine and analyze microbes in order to combat dreadful epidemic outbreaks and discover drugs effectively.

From Microbiologist to Scientists, Industrial or Food Microbiologists to Research Assistants and medicinal professionals, the scope of Microbiology is vast.

List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature

The List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature includes, alphabetically and chronologically, the nomenclature of bacteria and the nomenclatural changes as cited in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names, or published, or validly published in the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. Link

BioMolecular Networks Initiative: Microbiology

The Biomolecular Network Initiative (BNI) is headquartered at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The Initiative and PNNL are coupling experience and expertise in environmental microbiology with capabilities in molecular and computational sciences to develop unique capabilities for investigating the function and structure of biological macromolecules, microbial cells, mixed populations of microbial cells, and microbial communities. Link

Department of Bacteriology (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Welcome to the Bacteriology Department. This site contains information about microbiology for scientists, students and anyone interested in microbiology. Link

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Leicester. Link

Department of Microbiology at Monash University

The main research and academic interests of the Department of Microbiology are medical microbiology and microbial pathogenesis, infection and immunity, vaccine development, molecular parasitology, molecular virology, viral gene expression, molecular microbiology, and microbial genetics, biotechnology. Link

Department of Molecular Biosciences – Section of Microbiology

The discipline of Microbiology at the University of Kansas has a long tradition of research excellence in the many sub-disciplines within microbiology: Immunology Microbial Genetics Pathogenic Microbiology Physiology and, Virology. Link

DOE Microbial Genome Program

The focus of the Microbial Genome Program is to develop the ability to sequence the genetic material of microbial organisms. This will provide detailed genetic information on microorganisms with importance to the environment, energy production, and other important applications. The program, spun-off from the Human Genome Program in 1994, is already providing complete sequence information on key microorganisms. Link

Enhanced Microbial Genomes Library

The Pole Bio-Informatique Lyonnais (PBIL) presents the Enhanced Microbial Genomes Library (EMGLib), a database devoted to the completely sequenced bacterial genomes and the yeast genome. Users may search the database by keyword, sequence name, or accession number. PBIL includes associated documents and links to sites related to microbial genomes. Link

Extremophile Molecular Microbiology Research Group

The EMMRG is led by Dr Stephen Cummings: it utilises molecular techniques to investigate the adaptations of extremophilic bacteria. Link

Hardy Diagnostics: Microbiology Glossary

One of the largest collection of microbiology terms and abbreviations. Link

Humboldt University Microbiology

Research Topics: The proteobacterium Alcaligenes eutrophus serves as a model organism for the investigation of two alternative pathways of bacterial energy conservation: the oxidation of molecular hydrogen and denitrification. Both pathways involve complex biosyntheses of cofactor-containing oxidoreductases, membrane transport processes and transcriptional regulation. Link

Introduction to Bacterial Structure

A great site containing great information and images of bacterial structures. If you are wanting an introduction to how bacteria are put together this is a great starting place. Link

Introduction To Clinical Microbiology

This site contains a large number of excellent images of bacteria, culture media, and biochemical tests. Link

Microbes in Norwich

This site was created to bring together the wide variety of microbiological research being undertaken on the Norwich Research Park near the city of Norwich, England. Link

Microbial Genetics: PLP 428 Home Page

Class notes & links from University of Arizona. Link

Stanford Center for Tuberculosis Research

The purpose of these pages is to foster international collaborations between tuberculosis researchers. We hope that our new layout helps you learn more about what we do here at Stanford, and about tuberculosis research in general. There are links to home pages of personnel, including those of the Principle Investigator here, Dr.Peter Small. A summary of research and a list of publications for the Stanford Center for Tuberculosis Research are provided. Link

The Microbiology Information Portal

A microbiology information portal containing a vast collection of resources including articles, news, frequently asked questions, and links pertaining to the field of microbiology. Link

Pathogens and Other Microorganisms

The USGS works to monitor and assess how disease-causing pathogens enter our water and help those who manage drinking and wastewater facilities prevent and treat these viruses, bacteria, algal toxins, and other microorganisms.

A USGS geneticist tests samples for presence of certain pathogens. (Credit: Karen Courtot)

Microorganisms are found everywhere in our environment. They are common in the air, soil, water and in the habitats of our daily lives. The vast majority of microorganisms do not cause disease. Instead, they maintain the fertility of soil, they degrade wastes in our landfills and compost piles, and cleanse water of the pollutants we add. We purposefully use some microorganisms to make food (like in cheese, beer, and sauerkraut), we put microorganisms to work in sewage treatment plants, and we use them in biotechnology to produce chemicals.

Although some are beneficial, a few microorganisms called pathogens can make animals and humans sick. In order to cause disease, a pathogen must successfully invade some part of the body and either produce more of itself or produce a chemical (usually called a toxin) which interferes with normal body processes. Whether or not a pathogen is successful in causing disease depends on the health of the individual and the state of his or her immune system, as well as to the number of pathogen cells required to make the person ill. Some pathogens can cause disease when only a few cells are present. In other cases, many cells are required to make a person ill. Children and elderly persons are more susceptible to many pathogens than are young or middle-aged adults.

Waterborne pathogens include disease-causing algal toxins, bacteria, viruses, and protozoans that are transmitted to people when they consume untreated or inadequately treated water. Two such protozoans often seen in the news are Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Their consumption can lead to severe problems of the digestive system, which can be life-threatening to the very young, very old, or those with damaged immune systems.

Many communities routinely monitor streams, lakes, and beaches for bacteria that indicate a human health threat.


The USGS studies and monitors surface water and groundwater for a variety of pollutants, such as pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and protozoan). Here are a few links to demonstrate why USGS does what it does.


The cause of disease from an airborne microbe varies from species to species.

One example of an airborne toxin is called endotoxin or lipopolysaccharide which may be one of the most important human allergens (Earth Materials and Health, pg.61). Endotoxin is continually released from the cell wall of a gram negative bacteria during bacterial (the Gram-negative kinds) cell growth and decay. When comparing a gram-negative bacteria to a gram-positive, negative are more resistant against antibodies, because of their outer membrane, which the positive lack.These bacteria exist in soils and can be aerosolized driving a tractor across a field on a dry day is a good example of causing high exposure to endotoxin. It can cause fever, shock and asthma.

Fungal molds can produce mycotoxins, sometimes cancer-causing pathogens, that become airborne from spores.

In most cases, natural and anthropogenic (human caused) air pollution consists of complex mixtures of chemical and biochemical species as well as pathogens, and the earth-sourced or earth-hosted component can be difficult to asses (Earth Materials and Health, pg.62) More research can be done to improve human health by finding the sources of airborne pathogens geologically and atmospherically.

Basically, there are three major sources of such microbes: those arising from microbial decomposition of various substrates associated with particular occupations (e.g., "moldy" hay leading to hypersensitivity pneumonitis), those associated with certain types of environments (e.g., Legionnaires' bacteria in water supplies), and those stemming from infective individuals harboring a particular pathogen (e.g., tuberculosis).


Pond water is also fresh water. For this reason, the two terms may be used interchangeably when talk about the types of microorganisms found in pond water.

On the other hand, given that there are a variety of microorganisms that can found in ponds, it is also important to keep in mind that not all microorganisms are protists. This is because of the fact that the term is only used to refer to the group of diverse eukaryotic, which may share certain traits with animal and plants.

For this reason, most bacteria cannot be described as protists because their traits and structures differentiate them from members of the protist group.

What Are Bacteria?

Consisting exclusively of single-cell organisms, bacteria are the most prolific life-form on the planet and exist in almost every environment, including inside the bodies of other living organisms. As important decomposers, saprophytic bacteria feed at a microscopic level using absorptive nutrition, a process that breaks down cells using enzymes. The bacteria then absorb the resulting nutrients.

C lassified as a prokaryote — organisms without a nucleus, internal membranes and specific organelles — bacteria can feed on almost any organic compound to survive. That may sound invasive and lethal, but most bacteria are actually helpful and not harmful to humans.

What’s Up With the Bacteria in Your Gut?

The overuse of antibiotics, eating processed foods, and a generally sanitized lifestyle in industrialized nations is contributing to people's ill health and many modern plagues.

Biology, Health, Social Studies

Beneficial Gut Bacteria

Gut bacteria, which form our microbiome, play an essential role in our emotional health as well as our physical health. Fiber-rich prebiotic foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as probiotic fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso soups are recommended for our microbiome.

This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. Leveled by

Your gut is home to a rich collection of bacteria that play an important part in digestion. Our guts, or intestines, produce enzymes, which are substances that help break down food. Sometimes, our enzymes can't deal with certain foods, like beans. That's when our gut bacteria step in. They chomp down on those bean molecules, creating gas in the process.

But gut bacteria do much more than play a role in human nutrition. The key to whether we're fat or thin, cheerful or depressed, healthy or sick may lie in the gut microbiome. A microbiome is the collection of microorganisms, like bacteria, in a particular place. Your gut's microbiome is home to hundreds of species of bacteria.

Poop Is Everywhere, But That's A Good Thing

You start collecting your gut bacteria at birth, when you pass through your mother's birth canal. You pick up even more bacteria through your mother's milk. Milk contains substances that can only be digested by bacteria, specifically by Bifidobacterium infantis. This is a helpful bacterium that makes itself at home in the baby's digestive passage and helps prevent infections. Milk also functions as a probiotic, or a substance that helps good bacteria grow. In addition, milk is a prebiotic. This means that it supplies your gut bacteria with something to eat.

By the time kids turn 3, they are usually introduced to solid foods and can crawl around on the floor. By this age, their internal microbiomes are fully established. This means that they have come in contact with large numbers of fecal particles &mdash bits of poop. According to scientists who study microorganisms, the environment is pretty much coated in fecal particles.

It might sound creepy, but it is a good thing. The bacteria that we pick up can provide us with enzymes and vitamins. They help us battle infections, and they make chemicals necessary for our mental health and well-being. For example, serotonin is a chemical that sends signals between nerve cells, and it affects our mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning. Ninety percent of the body's serotonin is made by gut bacteria.

Junk Food Can Kill Off Good Bacteria

Our personal bacteria also protect us from a wide range of illnesses. Scientists think that the increase in some sicknesses in the population means that something is going seriously wrong in terms of bacteria. The modern rise in the number of people who are overweight, have allergies, asthma, arthritis and anxiety attacks may be related to the bacterial populations in our guts.

The problem here might be a leaky epithelium. The epithelium is the lining of the digestive tract, and it usually acts as a barrier between your gut bacteria and the rest of the body. Bacteria keep epithelial cells healthy by providing them with nutrition. But without the right nurturing bacteria, the epithelium breaks down. Bacteria and toxic bacterial by-products enter the bloodstream. This sends a signal to the immune system, alerting it to the presence of invaders. This can lead to inflammation and, eventually, disease.

In industrialized nations like the United States, a sanitized lifestyle and a diet of processed foods have killed off some of our body's microorganisms. So have antibiotics, which are medicines that fight against bacterial infection. The result is a microbiome that does not have many helpful types of bacteria. Many modern diseases may be occurring because our microbiomes aren't what they used to be.

A diet of junk food doesn't do our bacteria any good, either. Tim Spector is a scientist who studies diseases. In an experiment, he convinced his adult son to spend 10 days on a dedicated fast-food diet of fries, burgers, chicken nuggets and Coca-Cola. By the end of 10 days, he had lost one-third of the bacterial species in his gut.

Exercising, Eating Fiber-Rich Foods Can Help

How can you keep your microbiome healthy? Scientists and doctors say that you should not depend too much on the probiotic supplements available in the market. Instead, they recommend a diet rich in probiotic fermented foods, or foods in which the molecules are broken down by yeast or bacteria. Examples include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso soup. They also suggest fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. It is also a good idea to avoid processed foods, which do not provide much nourishment for your gut bacteria.

Exercise also seems to benefit our guts. In one study, researchers compared rugby players to nonathletes and found that the rugby players had more diverse microbiomes, with higher proportions of at least 40 different bacterial species.

While antibiotics are sometimes necessary, we should be cautious about overusing them. Studies show that that the gut microbiome can take up to a year to bounce back after a course of antibiotics, which can wipe out lots of bacteria, both good and bad.

Finally, you might want to expand your environment. The more different kinds of bacteria you pick up, the better. So meet new people, pat the dog, dig in the garden and play in the dirt.

Too Many to Count, Too Small to Find

We'll give the big overview on the variety of microorganisms here. There is no simple explanation of a microbe besides the fact that they are small. The list goes on. Just remember that there is a lot of variety going on here.

They can be heterotrophic or autotrophic. These two terms mean they either eat other things (hetero) or make food for themselves (auto). Think about it this way: plants are autotrophic and animals are heterotrophic.

They can be solitary or colonial. A protozoan like an amoeba might spend its whole life alone, cruising through the water. Others, like fungi, work together in colonies to help each other survive.

They can reproduce sexually or asexually. Sometimes the DNA of two microbes mixes and a new one is created (sexual reproduction). Sometimes a microbe splits into two identical pieces by itself (asexual reproduction).

Image Library

The newsroom image library is home to the images journalists request most often. These high-resolution, public domain images are ready to print in your publication.

For images not available in this library, visit the Public Health Image Library (PHIL). We also recommend the National Library of Medicine external icon image library.

PHIL ID #23354 | Download high-resolution image
Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-section through the viral genome, seen as black dots.

PHIL ID #23311 | Download high-resolution image
Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical extracellular viral particles contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.

PHIL ID #23311 | Download high-resolution image
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

PHIL ID #23312 | Download high-resolution image
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

PHIL ID #23313 | Download high-resolution image
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. In this view, the protein particles E, S, and M, also located on the outer surface of the particle, have all been labeled as well. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

PHIL ID #10042 | Download high-resolution image
Under a high magnification of 21674X, this digitally-colorized, scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicts a view of a dividing, Escherichia coli bacterium, clearly displaying the point at which the bacteria&rsquos cell wall was splitting into two separate organisms. See PHIL 7137 for a black and white version of this image.

PHIL ID #21917 | Download high-resolution image
This illustration depicts a three-dimensional (3D), computer-generated image of a grouping of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The artistic recreation was based upon scanning electron microscopic (SEM) imagery.

PHIL ID #23238 | Download high-resolution image
This is a medical illustration of drug-resistant, Campylobacter sp. bacteria, presented in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication entitled, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 (AR Threats Report).

PHIL ID #21074 | Download high-resolution image
This illustration provided a 3D graphic representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle, that was studded with glycoprotein tubercles. Those tubercular studs colorized maroon, are known as H-proteins (hemagglutinin), while those colorized gray, represented what are referred to as F-proteins (fusion). The F-protein is responsible for fusion of the virus and host cell membranes, viral penetration, and hemolysis. The H-protein is responsible for the binding of virions to cells. Both types of proteinaceous studs are embedded in the particle envelope&rsquos lipid bilayer.

PHIL ID #2739 | Download high-resolution image
This transmission electron micrograph of a small cluster of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) hepatitis A virus (HAV).

For more images of viruses or bacteria, visit the Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

PHIL ID#24399 | Download high-resolution image
Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, is the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

PHIL ID #22749 | Download high-resolution image Description: Robert R. Redfield, MD, is the 18th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

PHIL ID #23327 | Download high-resolution image
Dr. Schuchat is the Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PHIL ID #23147 | Download high-resolution image
This photograph depicted an Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB) public health scientist, holding up a glass slide used for a run on a sequencing machine.

PHIL ID #23165 | Download high-resolution image
Description:This photograph depicted an Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB), Public Health scientist, who was testing a sample suspected of containing a bacterial toxin.

PHIL ID #23214 | Download high-resolution image
In this 2019 photo, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist examines the results of a hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) test. HI tests can tell us whether antibodies, developed through vaccination, will also recognize circulating flu viruses. Using these data, scientists can decide, which viruses to include in the seasonal flu vaccine.

PHIL ID #22901 | Download high-resolution image
This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist was shown implementing molecular testing, in order to test for different types of polio. The 6-assay screening can determine which samples are polio, the specific serotype of polio, and whether they are vaccine, or wild strains.

For more images of CDC scientists and lab technicians, visit the Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

Chapter twenty-one - Synthetic Biology in Streptomyces Bacteria

Actinomycete bacteria of the genus Streptomyces are major producers of bioactive compounds for the biotechnology industry. They are the source of most clinically used antibiotics, as well as of several widely used drugs against common diseases, including cancer . Genome sequencing has revealed that the potential of Streptomyces species for the production of valuable secondary metabolites is even larger than previously realized. Accessing this rich genomic resource to discover new compounds by activating “cryptic” pathways is an interesting challenge for synthetic biology. This approach is facilitated by the inherent natural modularity of secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways, at the level of individual enzymes (such as modular polyketide synthases), but also of gene cassettes/operons and entire biosynthetic gene clusters. It also benefits from a long tradition of molecular biology in Streptomyces, which provides a number of specific tools, ranging from cloning vectors to inducible promoters and translational control elements. In this chapter, we first provide an overview of the synthetic biology challenges in Streptomyces and then present the existing toolbox of molecular methods that can be employed in this organism.


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