Microorganism or microbe is a microscopic organism, which may be single-celled or multicellular. The study of microorganisms is called microbiology, a subject that began with the discovery of microorganisms in the 1670s by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. Robert Hooke coined the term "cell" after viewing plant cells under his microscope.

Microorganisms are very diverse and include all bacteria, archaea and most protozoa. This group also contains some fungi, algae, and some micro-animals such as rotifers. Many macroscopic animals and plants have microscopic juvenile stages. Some microbiologists classify viruses and viroids as microorganisms, but others consider these as nonliving.


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