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Capsule, Flagella, Pili, Endospores

Capsule, Flagella, Pili, Endospores

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Published by: abimub on Sep 02, 2013
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Capsule and Slime Layer

•The most exterior components of bacterial cells are the #CAPSULE and SLIME layers. These layers are usually composed of sugar polymers that are excreted by the cell under certain conditions. The term capsule usually applies to a DEFINED layer with a distinct outer edge, whereas a slime layer describes an ILL DEFINED concentration of polymeric material which just slowly gets less and less the further away from the cell. Although capsule production is a genetic characteristic, its production is STRONGLY influenced by the nutrient environment. For example, in a nutritionally poor medium a bacterium may produce little or no capsule/slime, but in the presence of a high concentration of sugar the capsule may be HUMONGOUS. The capsule has several roles. •It protects the cell from DRYING. •It serves as an extra source of NUTRITION. in times of need. •It helps the cells STICK or attach to things because of its sticky (adhesive) nature and as such is part of biofilms. •By sticking the cells to solid surfaces capsules/slime layers prevent them from washing away and provide a protective environment for the cells. •It PROTECTS the cell from destruction by white blood cells. •It may be TOXIC or inhibitory to a host's defense system and so aid in the disease process.

1. Flagella • curved filament made of flagellin protein: travels through hollow tube, assembles at external end.

1.polar flagellation: flagella attached at one (monopolar) or both (bipolar) ends. Ex: Pseudomonas aeruginosa 2.peritrichous flagellation: flagella attached at many sites around cell periphery. Ex: E. coli



fimbriae & pili •short. similar in size to flagella.Electron micrograph of pili 1. gonorrhea) •Sex pili in conjugation. Pili sometimes involved in pathogenic adhesion (e. formation of pellicles at liquid surfaces. . rigid protein rods. •function in adhesion. but not involved in motility. Function not entirely clear.g.

Exosporium .Coat 5. Properties 1. Sporosarcinia) and Coxiella bunetii.Endospores Produced by gram positive bacteria(Bacillus.Activation . Closteridia. Sporulation Occurs at the end of the log phase Germination .Core 2.Initiation – Outgrowth.Spore wall 3-Cortex 4.


terminally (center). and subterminally (right) located endospores.Endospore Pi cures Centrally (left). Pictures from Brock Biology of Microorganisms (lecture textbook) .

and recently spores several million yr. to drying and many harmful chemicals. Spores are resistant to UV-light. Some disease organisms like anthrax and botulism form spores that reside in the soil. Image taken using a phase contrast Some G+ bacteria form resistant structures called SPORES under adverse conditions. old have been revived from insects trapped in amber. . Spores are the most RESISTANT life form known. shape.SPORE FORMING BACTERIA Spores from woodland pond. We know spores can live for 100s of yr. The size. They are able to survive boiling in water at 100oC for long periods. and location of a spore in the cell are all identifying genetic characteristics.

Following elongation of the cell.Bacteria reproduce by binary fission in which one bacterial cell divides into two cells. are distributed equally to the two daughter cells. a process in which the septal mesosomes are intimately involved. subsequently. which have doubled in number preceding the division. a transverse cell membrane is formed and. a new cell wall. The new transverse membrane and wall grow inward from the outer layers. . The nucleoid.


chains. . Morphology and Arrangement: .Bacilli .Coccobacilli .Size.Cocci: clusters. and Morphology of Bacteria Size: 1 u. diploes. tetrads.Filamentous .25 u in size.Spiral . Some bacteria such as Chlamydia and Rickettsia are o.


Bacterial arrangement and Morphology .

Commonly used basic dyes are methylene blue. crystal violet. The many types of dyes have two features in common: 1) they have chromophore groups. Dyes also contain an auxochrome group. or hydrophobic bonding.eosin. safranin. . bind to positively charged cell structures such as proteins. groups with conjugated double bonds that give the dye its color and 2) they can bind with cells by ionic. basic dyes are most often used in bacteriology. Some common acidic dyes are . Acidic stains have cololess cation and colored anion(negative stain stains the background). and acid fuchsin Basic stains have colored cation and cololess anion(stain bacteria). Acidic dyes. and malachite green.Staining Dye Properties Dyes used to stain bacterial cells are organic compounds. rose bengal. covalent. which in itself does not produce color but gives the dye its acidic or basic properties. Since the surfaces of bacterial cells are negatively charged such as nucleic acids and acidic polysaccharides. Gram stain . basic fuchsin. because of their negative charge. which have affinity for specific cellular components.

Flagellar Stain .Capsule Stain 3.Endospore Stain 2.Acid Fast Stain Differential .causative agent of TB •Mycobacterium leprae .measures the resistance of a cell to decolorization by acids •acid fastness attributed to high lipid content of the cell Important genera are Mycobacterium and actinomycetes •Mycobacterium tuberculosis . capsules are resistant to staining Examples of structural stains 1.causative agent of leprosy Staining mechanism is similar to Gram Stain •Carbol fuscin will not easily rinse away in positive cells •Acid alcohol is used as decolorizer •Counterstain is methylene blue :Structural Stain •based on differences in a structure compared to rest of cell •can selectively stain one part of a bacterial cell •take advantage of special property of cell structure •ex.

An acid fast a long filamentous organism in stain demonstrates the center that is dark red. This is typical for Nocardia .

the acid-fast cell wall of Mycobacterium contains a large amount of glycolipids such as mycolic acid. arabinogalactan-lipid comlex.Fig.1: Structure of an Acid-Fast Cell Wall In addition to peptidoglycan. . and lipoarabinomannan.

Acid-fast stained tissue .

Discoverer – Brucella abortus. 2. Both the genus and the species names are underlined or written in italics. 4. 3.Site – Staphylococcus epidermidis.Vibrio cholera. 5.Nomenclature of Bacteria Bacteria are named according to different criteria: 1. The first letter of the genus name is capitalized. Staphylococcus aureus.Disease . .Growth requirment – Haemophilus influenzae. while the first letter of the species name is not capitalized.Morphology – Staphylococcus aureus.

2. .Classification of Bacteria According to the character of the cell wall.Archaebacteria. 4.Gram negative Eubacteria that have a cell wall.Gram positive Eubacteria that have a cell wall. Mycoplasma pneumoniae. bacteria are classified into 1.Eubacteria lacking a cell wall. 3.

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