bound together by proteins (histones) into chromosomes). Animals, plants, and fungi are all eukaryotic organisms.

Parasite: An organism that lives in or on and takes its nourishment from another organism. A parasite cannot live independently. Parasitic diseases include infections by protozoa, helminths, and arthropods (

Parasitism: One species inflicts harm upon the other. Pathogen: Organism capable of causing disease. Pathogenic: Capable of causing disease.

Peptidogylcan: A polymer found in the cell walls of prokaryotes that consists of polysaccharide and peptide chains in a strong molecular network.

Petri dish: A shallow, circular dish with a loose cover, usually made of transparent glass and plastic, and used to grow cultures of microorganisms.

Phagocytosis: The uptake of particulate material by a cell. The main mammalian phagocytes are neutrophils and macrophages.

Phylogenomic: The use of evolutionary information in the prediction of gene function.

Phylogeny: The evolutionary development and history of a species or higher taxonomic grouping of organisms.

Planktonic: Bacteria that are suspended or growing in a fluid environment as opposed to those attached to a surface.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): A scientific technique in molecular biology to amplify a single or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.

Polymeric matrix: Cells in a biofilm secrete polymers of varying chemical composition that form an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) or a slime matrix that gives the biofilm stability and helps it to adhere to a surface. Although generally assumed to be primarily composed of polysaccharides, the EPS can also contain proteins and nucleic acids (Hall-Stoodley et al. 2004. Bacterial biofilms:

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