Microbiology is the study of bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa and viruses, and is of immense importance in relation to the environment, agriculture and food, biomedical sciences and biotechnology. Graduates in Microbiology are therefore highly sought after in these fields. Viruses, bacteria and fungi play major roles in the diseases of man, animals and plants. Microbiologists have been central to their diagnosis and in combating such diseases through the discovery of effective therapies. Microorganisms also play a central role in the biosphere, through environmental processing or recycling of elements and waste products. They are also crucial in the manufacture of fermented foods and beverages.