Frontiers in Microbiology

  • Intended to help teachers update their content knowledge about microbiology
  • High school and college biology teachers | © 2006
  • Nine sections describe research results and current thinking about microbes and their impacts on the health of humans and the planet
  • Download complimentary module in PDF format

Frontiers in Microbiology provides high school and college biology teachers with an overview of microbiology, including the importance of knowing and understanding microbiology and what scientists can do in this advancing field. Our planet contains creatures that “breathe” metals and can survive extreme temperatures, pH, salinity, and dehydration.

By almost any measure, microbes are vital to the health of the Earth. They had been evolving for nearly three billion years before the emergence of the first visible organisms. It is the microbes that generated the Earth’s geochemical cycles, and today they maintain the oxygen in our atmosphere. Despite their importance, microbes are second-class citizens in biology’s hierarchy. Because of this, many textbooks lack the depth of knowledge to educate students properly about this important field.

By using this module, teachers will effectively gather the content knowledge to educate high school and college biology students.

This module was developed with support from the Department of Energy.


  1. Introduction
  2. Microbes and the Origin of Life
  3. Microbes and Extreme Environments Microbes and the Three Domains
  4. Microbe Communities
  5. Microbes’ Influence on Earth
  6. Microbial Genomics Microbes and Humans Microbiology Education

Click here to download your complimentary copy of the module in PDF format.