What are the different types of bacteria in use?  

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There are a number of classifications of bacteria that are in use. Bacteria can be classified on the basis of their shape as cocci (spherical shape), bacilli (rod shaped) or spirilla (spiral shaped). They can also be classified on the basis of gram stain test as gram-positive and gram-negative (those...

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There are a number of classifications of bacteria that are in use. Bacteria can be classified on the basis of their shape as cocci (spherical shape), bacilli (rod shaped) or spirilla (spiral shaped). They can also be classified on the basis of gram stain test as gram-positive and gram-negative (those that do not get stained) bacteria. These organisms are also classified into a large number of genus (such as Escherichia, lacobacilli, etc.). 

More commonly, we (especially non-specialists) think of bacteria as either pathogenic or non-pathogenic. Pathogenic bacteria causes infection and result in sickness. Bacillus anthracis, for example, causes anthrax.  Non-pathogenic bacteria, on the other hand, have no adverse effect on us and may, in fact, be useful to us. A mixed culture of bacteria is commonly used for municipal wastewater treatment in sewage treatment plants, etc.

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