100-word explainer: When is a microbe not a microbe?

Microbes are the most diverse life form on Earth. They’re not only limited to bacteria but also include archaea, fungi, protozoa, algae and viruses. Microbes are tiny organisms that are mostly invisible to the naked eye, making up a large part of the planet’s living material and maintaining the Earth’s ecosystem.

Also known as microorganisms, microbes live individually as a single-cell or in communities of colonies. However, if the “microorganism” is multicellular, then they’re not considered as a microbe. For example, yeasts (single-celled fungus) are microbes, but filamentous fungi, like mould or mushrooms, are multi-cellular therefore they’re not microbes.

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