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[Microbiology] Re: Filamentous bacteria identification

Larry Farrell via microbio%40net.bio.net (by farrlarr At isu.edu)
Mon Feb 5 10:50:36 EST 2007

I will assume you are referring to me with this question, and will 
answer accordingly.  It is appropriate to observe filamentous 
bacterial cultures at all ages, since the cultures go through various 
stages of development as they age.  As you noted. most cells are free 
swimming in younger cultures but convert to sheathed forms later on. 
It appears to me, from your description, that you have correctly 
identified the organism in question as a filamentous bacterium.  Check 
Bergey's for tests used to identify Sphaerotilus, Thiothrix, 
Leptothrix, etc.

Barbara Beavers wrote:
> Larry,
> I found a question you had answered regarding filamentous bacteria on 
> bio.net. I would really appreciate your help if you have a minute to 
> answer a  question. I have isolated an organism  from a polymer emulsion 
> (a raw material) that appears to be a filamentous gram neg rod. This 
> organism will only grow on low pH media and it grows very slowly.
> My question:
> When I gram stain from a subculture after 24 hours  growth the cells are 
> all free swimming with a few chains of cells. After 72 hours the 
> filaments are starting to form. The appearance of sheaths are apparent 
> at 72-96 hours. After 96 hours filaments are predominant, most are 
> sheathed.
> Is it  a proper technique when identifying  filamentous bacteria to 
> observe older cultures? Am I correct in identifying this as a 
> filamentous bacteria?
> Thank you so much!
> Barbara

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