Bacteria can be classified in many ways, depending on their preferred environments and what gasses they consume. Here are a few important classes of bacteria to familiarize yourself with.
Shapes: There are three basic shapes bacteria are usually found in. These are coccus (round circles), Bacillus, (rod shaped), and spirillum, (spiral shaped).
Arrangements: They can also be classified by what arrangements they grow in. If they group in twos, they are called diplo, if they grow in clusters like grapes, they are called staphlo, and if they grow in singular lines they are called strepto. These prefixes are put at the beginning of their names such as staphlococcus.
Response to oxygen- Bacteria can be grouped by their different responses to oxygen.
Aerobic Bacteria- These bacteria lives in the presence of oxygen and need it to live and survive.
Anaerobic Bacteria- Conversely, these bacteria cannot tolerate oxygen and die in its presence.
Facultative Anaerobic Bacteria- These Bacteria can live with or without oxygen, but prefer to grow in oxygen, and grow better in its presence.
Bacteria can also be classified by how they obtain their energy. If they fix CO2to make their own food source, they are autotrophs, if they rely on deriving their energy from the environment, they are known as heterotrophs.