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The science and study of bacteria, and hence a specialized branch of microbiology. It deals with the nature and properties of the bacteria as living entities, their morphology and developmental history, ecology, physiology and biochemistry, genetics, and classification.
The major subjects that have consecutively occupied the forefront of bacteriological research have been the origin of bacteria, the constancy or variability of their properties, their role as causative agents of disease and of spoilage of foods, their significance in the cycle of matter, their classification, and their physiological, biochemical, and genetic features. See Bacteria, Microbiology
the study of bacteria; a division of the broader scientific discipline microbiology. Bacteriology is divided into a number of independent branches. General bacteriology studies the morphology, physiology, and biochemistry of bacteria, their mutability and genetics, evolution, distribution in nature, and so on. Medical and veterinary bacteriology studies the biology of pathogenic bacteria, methods of isolating and identifying them, and the phenomenon of immunity; it elaborates specific means for preventing and treating infectious diseases of man and animals. Agricultural bacteriology studies the role of bacteria in the formation of soil structures, in soil fertility, and in plant nutrition, and the processing of agricultural products (ensilage, fermentation, retting, and so on). Technical (industrial) bacteriology studies the processes of formation by bacteria of alcohols, organic acids, enzymes, amino acids, antibiotics, growth stimulants, and other substances.