The moneras are found in most varied environments and in conditions that are deemed unfavorable to the manifestation of any kind of life, such as very high temperatures.
At cyanobacteria are found in moist soils, covering rocks and tree trunks, and in fresh or salt water. Can also be found living in the body of animals.
In our gut, for example, there are bacteria that produce B-complex vitamins. The use of antibiotics can cause changes in this intestinal flora, causing diarrhea. This is one more reason why these medications should only be used with medical advice.
What do moneras feed on?
Bacteria can be autotrophs but most are heterotrophic, obtaining nutrients by decomposing organic matter. An example of heterotrophic bacteria are those that nourish themselves by living in association with other living things, such as those that digest cellulose in the stomach of ruminants, for example the ox and the ram.
At cyanobacteria are autotrophic, ie they do photosynthesis. Besides the chlorophyll, which is a green-colored pigment, cyanobacteria may contain pigments of other colors in your cell and therefore have different stains.
Bacteria and Legumes
Some species of the genus Rhizobium, are able to capture nitrogen from the air. They release salts in the soil as nitrates, which are rich in nitrogen and can be absorbed and harnessed by plants. Nitrogen is one of the component elements of proteins.
These nodule-forming bacteria live in the roots of plants called legumes, whose fruits are pod-shaped (examples: beans, soybeans, and lentils). Thanks to the presence of these bacteria, legumes are rich in protein. In contrast, a fraction of the organic matter produced by legumes through photosynthesis is assimilated by these heterotrophic bacteria. This establishes a mutually beneficial relationship between bacteria. Rhizobium and the legumes. This type of interaction, in which both partners benefit, is called mutualism.
Legume roots with nodules where Rhizobium bacteria live.
Once the legume seeds are harvested, the farmer can bury the remaining legume parts, which function as "green manure". As this buried material decomposes, nitrogenous salts are incorporated into the soil, making it more fertile.
How do moneras reproduce?
Bacteria can reproduce very quickly, giving rise to a very large number of offspring in just a few hours. Most of them reproduce asexually, by cissiparity, also called simple division or bipartition. In this case, each bacterium divides into two other genetically identical bacteria, assuming no mutations, that is, changes in its genetic material.
In some species of bacteria may occur recombination of genetic material. is the case of conjugation, phenomenon discovered when two varieties of bacteria Escherichia coli were created together. In this process, two genetically different bacteria unite through cytoplasmic bridges. One, the donor bacterium, injects part of its genetic material into the other, the recipient bacterium. Then the two bacteria separate, and within the recipient bacteria, gene recombination occurs. This bacterium then reproduces asexually by cissiparity, giving rise to new bacteria carrying recombined genetic material. The conjugation allows the increase of genetic variability of the bacterial population, which contributes to its adaptation to a given environment.
Scheme shown asexual reproduction by bipartition and recombination in sexual reproduction.
Conjugating bacteria seen under the electron microscope.