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Bacteria: Gross Morphology and

Fine Structures

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Size of a Bacteria

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Shape of Common Bacteria

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Arrangements
streptococci

sarcina

staphylococci

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Structures of a Typical Bacterial Cell
Capsule
Cytoplas
m
Ribosome
s Cell
Inclusio Wall
n Plasma
membrane
Nuclear area
(nucleoid)
containing DNA
Capsule Plasmid

Cell Wall Flagella


Plasma
membrane

Fimbria
e

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Figure 4.6a,
Structures of a Typical Bacterial Cell:
Structures External to the Cell Wall

Glycocalyx
Flagella
Axial filaments
Fimbriae
Pili

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Structures External to the Cell Wall:
Glycocalyx

“sugar coat”
Substances that surround cells
Capsule
 Organized & firmly attached to the cell wall
 Determined by negative staining
 Protect pathogenic bacteria from phagocytosis

Slime layer – unorganized & only loosely


attached to the cell wall

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Figure 4.6a,
Structures External to the Cell Wall:
Flagella

“whip”
Long filamentous
appendages that
propel bacteria

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Structures External to the Cell Wall:
Flagella

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Structures External to the Cell Wall:
Flagellar Arrangement

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Structures External to the Cell Wall:
Axial Filaments

Endoflagella
In spirochetes
Anchored at one
end of a cell
Rotation causes cell
to move

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Structures External to the Cell Wall:
Fimbriae and Pili

Fimbriae – enable a
cell to adhere to
surfaces
Pili – used to
transfer DNA from
one cell to another

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The Cell Wall
A complex, semi-rigid structure responsible for
the shape of the cell
Functions:
 Prevents osmotic lysis
 Helps maintain the shape of the bacterium
 Serves as point of anchorage for flagella
 Contributes to microorganisms’ pathogenicity
 Site of action of some antibiotics
 Used to differentiate major types of bacteria

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The Cell Wall:
Composition & Characteristics

Made of peptidoglycan
 Polymer of N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) & N-
acetylmuramic acid (NAM) = glycan part
 Linked by polypeptides = peptide part

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The Cell Wall:
Composition & Characteristics

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Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria

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The Cell Wall:
Composition & Characteristics
Gram Positive Gram Negative
Color of Gram-stained cell Purple Reddish pink
Representative genera Bacillus, Escherichia,
Staphylococcus Pseudomonas
Distinguishing
Characteristics/Components
Peptidoglycan Thick layer Thin layer
Teichoic acid Present Absent
Periplasm Absent Present
Outer Membrane Absent Present
Endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) Absent Present
Porin proteins Absent Present
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The Cell Wall:
Composition & Characteristics
Gram Positive Gram Negative
General Characteristics

Sensitivity to penicillin Generally more Generally less susceptible


susceptible (with notable exceptions)
(with notable
exceptions)
Sensitivity to lysozyme Yes No (unless treated also with
EDTA)
Form that results from Protoplast Spheroplast
removal of
peptidoglycan
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The Cell Wall:
Atypical Cell Walls
Mycoplasmas
 Smallest known bacteria that can grow &
reproduce outside living host cells
 Lack cell walls
 Sterols in plasma membrane

Archaea
 Wall-less, or
 Walls of pseudomurein (lack NAM and D
amino acids)
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Structures Internal to the Cell Wall:
Plasma Membrane

Thin structure lying inside the cell wall &


enclosing the cytoplasm of the cell
Consists mostly of phospholipids & proteins
Functions:
 Selective permeability
 Breakdown of nutrients

 ATP production

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Structures Internal to the Cell Wall:
Plasma Membrane

Structures
Phospholipid bilayer
Peripheral proteins
Integral proteins
Transmembrane
proteins

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Structures Internal to the Cell Wall:
Cytoplasm

Substance inside the plasma membrane


80% water
Contains proteins, carbohydrates, lipids,
inorganic ions & low-molecular weight
compounds
Structures: DNA, ribosomes, inclusions
Prokaryotic cytoplasm lacks cytoskeleton &
cytoplasmic streaming

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Structures Internal to the Cell Wall:
Nuclear Area (Nucleoid)

Contains bacterial chromosome & plasmids


Bacterial chromosome
 Cell’s genetic information
 No histones & nuclear envelope

Plasmids
 Extrachromosomal genetic elements
 Not connected to the bacterial chromosome

 Replicate independently of chromosomal DNA

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Structures Internal to the Cell Wall:
Ribosomes

Sites of protein synthesis


Composed of 2 subunits: each consists of protein
& rRNA
Prokaryotic ribosomes smaller & less dense

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Structures Internal to the Cell Wall:
Inclusions
Metachromatic granules Phosphate reserves
Polysaccharide granules Energy reserves
Lipid inclusions Energy reserves
Sulfur granules Energy reserves
Carboxysomes Ribulose 1,5-diphosphate
carboxylase for CO2 fixation
Gas vacuoles Protein covered cylinders
Magnetosomes Iron oxide
(destroys H2O2)

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Inclusions
Inclusions are aggregates of various
compounds that are normally involved in
storing energy reserves or building
blocks for the cell.
Inclusions accumulate when a cell is grown
in the presence of excess nutrients and
they are often observed under laboratory
conditions
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Structures Internal to the Cell Wall:
Endospores

Bacillus, Clostridium
Resting cells
Resistant to desiccation, heat, chemicals
Sporulation: Endospore formation
Germination: Return to vegetative state

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Form inside of
vegetative cells
(hence “endo”).
Endospores

Characteristic of
many soil bacteria,
e.g., Bacillus spp.
& Clostridium spp.

Highly resistant to
heat, U.V.,
desiccation, etc.

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References
Talaro KP. (1999). Foundations in Microbiology: An Introduction.
(1994). USA: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc.
Tortora GJ, BR Funke & CL Case. (1995). Microbiology: An
Introduction. Bridge Parkway, CA: The Benjamin Cummings
Publishing Company, Inc.
Masserrat, E., Lu, P., and Taucher, J. Using Morphology
Characteristics to Study Bacterial Diversity, Pennsylvania State
University

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Acknowledgment
DFCornago, Instructor, Department of Food
Science and Nutrition, College of Home
Economics, University of the Philippines,
Diliman.

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