On the 10th of April second-year students of Biological Institute of TSU attended the open lecture «Ecology and Diversity of Microorganisms». The lecture was prepared and delivered by Dr. Yulia A. Frank, an Associate Professor at the Department of Plant Physiology and Biotechnology. It was the second time the participants of the project «English-speaking environment formation for the students of TSU» had had an opportunity to listen to Dr. Yulia Frank’s speaking on the topics related to the sphere of her scientific interests. The lecture consisted of two parts: the first was devoted to the outline of phylogenetic and metabolic diversity of germs and distinctive features of the microbial ecology; while in the second part the researcher focused on those vital functions which prokaryotes fulfill in the ecosystem of our planet.
Dr. Frank told the students about the latest data, achievements and new approaches in the area of studying microorganisms. The students found out that germs were the first form of life on Earth. So, today scientists are able to discover the age of our planet using the information provided by prokaryotes. More than that, now it turns out to be mission possible to offer an answer to the major question «When did life emerge on Earth?»
Yet, there are many more amazing discoveries lying ahead
as, according to the lecturer, only 1% of all species of microorganisms are currently
described and can be cultivated. The vast majority, so-called «unseen majority»,
are looking forward to their «coming out».
Despite the fact that microorganisms make up 60% of all biomass on earth and live throughout the biosphere, they still remain the most mysterious and intriguing living things that mean and do so much for humanity but are fairly difficult to comprehend.
Overall, being the first cells on earth, microbes experienced a long period of diversification resulted in outstanding variety of genotypes and metabolic types in prokaryotes. It goes without saying, that their ability to serve as catalysts of biogeochemical cycles is highly essential for preserving life itself as microorganisms maintain the proper ecological environment on the planet making it an available place for us to live on.
The staff members of the Department of the English language for Natural Sciences and Physico-Mathematical faculties would like to thank Dr. Yulia A. Frank for inspiring talk and food for thought. Lectures in the English language for future biologists have become already a good tradition and a solid basis for the further development of English-speaking environment in Tomsk State University making contribution to the formation of foreign language competence not only in students but lecturers and researchers as well.