Difference Between Microbiology and Molecular Biology
By Claire Miles - May 31, 2023

Have you ever wondered about the distinction between molecular biology and microbiology? You may have heard that microbiology is far wider than molecular biology since it delves further into epidemiology and infectious illnesses. This is correct. However, the distinctions between the two are more than that. Because microorganisms are built up of cells, there is frequently some overlap between the two subjects.


Microbiology studies microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Microorganisms are highly significant to humans, especially in our health and wellness. Furthermore, microbiology aids in the development of various industrial applications that use microbes, such as the bread industry, pharmaceutical business, beer industry, and so on. Microbiology is usually separated into two fields; pure microbiology and applied microbiology.

Molecular biology is the study of biological activities at the molecular level. It is primarily concerned with the interactions of numerous biological systems, such as DNA, RNA, proteins, and their production. Molecular biologists utilize techniques that are unique to molecular biology, but they also frequently mix techniques from genetics and biochemistry. However, advances in bioinformatics and computational biology have aided in advancing the interface between molecular biology and computer science.

Microbiology vs. Molecular Biology

The subject areas examined in microbiology are more diverse. Microbiology concerns the taxonomy, biochemistry, physiology, ecology, and genetics of bacteria, fungi, algae, protists, and all viruses, including molecular biology components. A molecular biologist may study the structures and functions of genes or proteins involved in the biological processes of animals, plants, or microbes. In contrast, a microbiologist studies a group of microbes, a single microorganism, or a process driven by a microbe(s) at the physiology, biochemistry, histology, ecology, or molecular biology level. Furthermore, a microbiologist investigating virology will employ molecular biology techniques (structural like X-Ray crystallography, NMR, molecular like gene cloning, and gene expression). Molecular biology is also a core aspect of bioinformatics and computational biology, but it is not as widespan as Microbiology.

Scientists conducting an experiment

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Comparison Chart
  1. The study of microorganisms
The study of the biological functions at the molecular level
  1. There are many specifications
It is not a niche