Bacterial Physiology by C. H. Werkman and P. W. Wilson (Eds.)

By C. H. Werkman and P. W. Wilson (Eds.)

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Mycoides in a nitrogen-free medium. The vegetative cells so formed, when observed with the electron microscope, had a transparent cytoplasm and contained 1 to 6 large opaque bodies; these bodies frequently gave evidence of division and played a controlling role in the formation of the endospore; consequently, their behavior was what would be expected of nuclei. Recent work (Knaysi, Hillier, and Fabricant, 1950) with the Sheard strain of the avian Mycobacierium tuberculosis, the cytoplasm of which is transparent to electrons even when grown in ordinary media, confirmed the presence of one to several dense bodies per cell which divide during active growth and seem to play the role of nuclei ; no other bodies, besides vacuoles, were present within the cytoplasm.

When present, the slime layer is the site of specific antigens; in Micrococcus pneumoniae, type specificity is determined by the polysaccharide of the capsule (see Chapter I). H. FLAGELLA AND THE MOTION OF BACTERIA There are two kinds of motile bacteria, the creeping group and the swimming group. Creeping motion is observed in the myxobacteria and among the sulfur bacteria in the genera Beggiatoa and Thiothrix; these organisms are able to creep slowly over supporting surfaces as a result of waves of contraction which cause periodic alterations in the form of the cells.

Badian (1933), and Bisset in his earlier papers, had considered the bacterial nucleus as a single, naked chromosome which divides longi­ tudinally. A study of the published photographic records suggests that what was interpreted as longitudinal splitting is, more likely, the result of two transversal divisions in rapid succession. The details of behavior within a nucleus preparing to divide have not yet been elucidated, but the division of the nucleus in Bacillus mycoides and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as observed in electron micrographs, takes place by enlargement and, commonly, elongation of the nucleus and its separation into two hemiellipsoidal halves along a transversal plane.

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