Essay on Nutrition and Growth

Published: 2021/12/28
Number of words: 1429

In the book of Microbiology, nutrition refers to the use of macronutrients and micronutrients for cellular activities in the body. In this regard, organisms require large quantities of macronutrients and small quantities of micronutrients, respectively, according to their role in growth. Macronutrients are responsible for the metabolism and maintenance of cells structures during growth, whereas micronutrients maintain the functions of enzymes in the body and protein structures vital for growth. In microbiology, growth refers to increased cells that occur through binary fission and budding to multiply the parent cells through division. However, the growth of cells can be affected by environmental and nutritional factors such as the intake of nutrients, oxygen, temperature, and moisture. Thus, organisms require organic nutrients for adequate growth and development because they lack metabolic mechanisms and genetics. Therefore, this paper aims at giving a summary of nutrition and growth in microbiology.

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Generally, there are essential nutrients in microbial nutrition such as nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, which organisms absorb for survival. In this regard, essential nutrients refer to substances that organisms cannot produce and cannot survive without their intake. Normally, organisms acquire essential nutrients from their surroundings, and the nutrients required by bacterial species include; oxygen, carbon, phosphorous, hydrogen, and sulfur. However, bacterial species require additional nutrients in small portions for normal functioning and growth, known as micronutrients. Further, nutrients can be categorized into organic and inorganic nutrients, whereby carbon forms part of the organic nutrients that organisms absorb. In contrast, nitrogen is a protein structure necessary for block building. On the other hand, oxygen forms a critical element of both inorganic and organic nutrients essential for metabolism (Wei et al., 2021). The living things’ products form parts of organic nutrients in microbial growth factors essential to fastidious organisms. Most importantly, nutrients rich in phosphate ensures cellular energy transfer and the formulation of nuclei acids which allows organisms to grow.

The micronutrients elements vital for microbes’ growth are copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium though the requirements for these traces vary according to the type of species. Thus it is evident that the supply of nutrients determines the rate of microbial growth in organisms because they culture microorganisms from the natural environment. In nutrition, nutrients are the limiting factors for growth because ideal parameters and nutrients create a steady growth state. Additionally, several environmental factors affect the intake of nutrients and growth among the microbes. These factors are necessary for selective isolation, including oxygen, light, temperature, osmotic effect, moisture, pH, and carbon dioxide (Wei et al., 2021). Additionally, nutrients from minerals are also vital in the production of proteins and sodium in the cell membranes. Minerals transport calcium to the cell walls and boosts the stability of magnesium elements for cellular respiration. Hence, organisms need to acquire all the necessary nutrients required for proper metabolism and cellular growth.

Growth and Environmental Factors

In microbial, growth refers to an increase of cells through cell divisions which increases the population. The growth in microbes occurs when multiple cells emerge from the parent cell without necessarily increasing the sizes of the cells. Essentially, the increase of cells in microbes is crucial because it helps in regulating infections. However, microbial growth needs a proper oxygen intake to handle the various enzyme reactions and the toxic end product. In this regard, some factors affect growth which can be environmental or nutritional factors. The environmental factors that affect microbe growth are light, moisture, sonic stress, carbon dioxide, osmotic effect, oxygen, and mechanical stress (Kushner, 2020). The presence of these elements is vital for one to understand the microbe’s growth patterns. Regarding moisture, this is an important component needed for growth because the water molecules trigger an optimum growth rate of cells. The effect of oxygen supply in growth varies according to bacteria, such as aerobes and aerobes; thus, organisms should maintain high oxygen levels for maximum growth. In terms of carbon dioxide, organisms require minimum carbon dioxide portions for growth. Typically, carbon dioxide is generated from cellular metabolism and the environment, which affects growth rates. Among the environmental factors, temperature forms the crucial factor that can affect growth if it exceeds the normal body temperature. In growth, light is an environmental factor that promotes growth, and the species that require light for growth are known as photo chromogenic mycobacterium. Lastly, sonic stress can also affect growth through ultrasonic vibrations, but the walls of cells offer protection to stress-related issues.

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Growth Phases

In cells, growth takes place in the form of divisions to allow the production of multiple cells and an increase in population. The division of cells takes place in the form of microbes such as binary fission and budding. The generation time for each cell, in this case, is around 20 minutes to 72 hours for effective multiplication of cells after the division has taken place. Binary fission, in this case, entails the division of cells the application of spindle fiber but through the fission of double-sized cells. On the contrary, budding is a form of growth in cells whereby the emerging cell grows out of the existing parent cells. The culture of microbial growth goes through the lag, log, stationary, and death phase, respectively. During the lag phase, the cells are constant without growth due to the metabolic activities until the lag phase (Torres-Pitarch et al., 2019). The log phase is the second phase of growth in cells, and during this time, microbe’s increases at a slow then extreme pace causing an exponential growth of cells. The third phase of growth is stationery, whereby the cells remain constant in number, but changes occur in terms of sizes for survival. Lastly, the death phase is when the cells die due to the depletion of intracellular reserves. Therefore, there is a need to observe the growth factors that can increase the lifespan of microbes necessary for growth.

In conclusion, microbiology’s most significant growth factor is the nutritional factors that cover all the nutrients microorganisms require for growth. Nevertheless, additional growth factors such as the physical factors and oxygen requirements create a suitable environment for the existence of microbes (Wang et al., 2019). Organisms need both organic and inorganic nutrients for proper functioning and multiplication of cells through growth. Most of the nutritional factors vital for growth in microorganisms are biochemical, covering carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, vitamins, phosphorous, and trace elements. Carbon is the source of energy, while nitrogen and sulfur are needed to produce amino acids. Lastly, vitamins form the nutritional factors which act as coenzymes responsible for clotting and cells growth. The growth in cells can be in budding or binary fission, which follows several stages. In this case, the log, lag, death, and stationery phase measure the growth rate despite the environmental and nutritional factors that may influence the growth rate in cells. Specifically, environmental factors have a crucial role in the growth, and without observing these factors, the cell numbers can remain constant. Environmental factors, in this case, include oxygen content, moisture, light, temperature, among others. Thus, there is a need to consider the intake of nutrients and environmental factors necessary for growth in microbial nutrition.


Kushner, D. J. (2020). Growth and nutrition of halophilic bacteria. In The biology of halophilic bacteria (pp. 87-103). CRC Press.

Torres-Pitarch, A., Manzanilla, E. G., Gardiner, G. E., O’Doherty, J. V., & Lawlor, P. G. (2019). Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of feed enzymes on growth and nutrient digestibility in grow-finisher pigs: Effect of enzyme type and cereal source. Animal Feed Science and Technology251, 153-165.

Wang, X., Xia, K., Yang, X., & Tang, C. (2019). Growth strategy of microbes on diverse carbon sources. Nature communications10(1), 1-7.

Wei, C., Lin, X., Zhang, Y., Wan, X., Wu, H., He, T., & Wang, C. (2021). Effects of inorganic and organic selenium sources on the growth performance of broilers in China: A meta-analysis. Open life sciences16(1), 31-38.

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