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Bacterial Morphology and Structure

SIZE OF BACTERIA

Unit for measurement :


Micron or micrometer,m:
1m=10-3mm
Size:
Varies with kinds of bacteria, and
also related to their age and external
environment.

Cocci: sphere, 1m
Bacilli: rods , 0.5-1 m in width -3 m in length
Spiral bacteria: 1~3 m in length and 0.3-0.6 m in width

Structure of Bacteria
Essential structures
cell wall
cell membrane
Cytoplasm
nuclear material

Particular structures
capsule
flagella
pili
spore

1884: Christian Gram: First publication for the Gram stain method)
Editor's note: I would like to testify that I have found the Gram method to be one of
the best and for many cases the best method which I have ever used for staining
Schizomycetes.
Flagellum
Cell membrane Nucleoid
Cell wall

Gram +
Pili

Gram Granule

Capsule
Cell (inner) membrane Outer membrane
Ribosomes
Cell wall

Gram, C. 1884. Ueber die isolirte Farbung


der Schizomyceten in Schnittund
Trockenpraparaten. Fortschritte der
Medicin, Vol. 2, pages 185-189.

Cell wall

Situation:
outmost portion.
15-30nm in
thickness, 10%25% of dry
weight.

Cell wall :Common peptidoglycan layer

A backbone of N-acetyl glucosamine and N-acetylmuramic acid: Both discovered


in Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria.
A set of identical tetrapeptide side chain attached to N-acetyl-muramic acid:
different components and binding modes in Gram positive and Gram negative
bacteria.
A set of identical peptide cross bridges: only in Gram positive bacteria

Special components of
Gram positive cell wall
Teichoic acid

SPA / M POTEIN

Special components of
Gram negative cell wall

Functions of Cell Wall

Maintaining the cell's characteristic shape- the rigid


wall compensates for the flexibility of the
phospholipid membrane and keeps the cell from
assuming a spherical shape
Countering the effects of osmotic pressure
Providing attachment sites for bacteriophages
Providing a rigid platform for surface appendagesflagella, fimbriae, and pili all emanate from the
wall and extend beyond it
Play an essential role in cell division
Be the sites of major antigenic determinants of
the cell surface
Resistance of Antibiotics

Wall-less forms of Bacteria.

When bacteria are treated with 1) enzymes that are lytic for
the cell wall e.g. lysozyme or 2) antibiotics that interfere
with biosynthesis of peptidoglycan, wall-less bacteria are
often produced.
Usually these treatments generate non-viable organisms.
Wall-less bacteria that can not replicate are referred to as
spheroplasts (when an outer membrane is present) or
protoplasts (if an outer membrane is not present).
Occasionally wall-less bacteria that can replicate are
generated by these treatments (L forms).

Cell
membrane

Site of biosynthesis of DNA, cell wall polymers and membrane lipids. Selective
permeability and transport of solutes into cells
Electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation
Excretion of hydrolytic exoenzymes

Mesosomes

Mesosomes are specialized structures


formed by convoluted inveigh-nations of
cytoplasmic membrane, and divided into
septal and lateral mesosome.

Cytoplasm

Composed largely of water, together with proteins, nucleic


acid, lipids and small amount of sugars and salts
Ribosomes: numerous, 15-20nm in diameter with 70S;
distributed throughout the cytoplasm; sensitive to
streptomycin and erythromycin site of protein synthesis

Plasmids: extrachromosomal
genetic elements
Inclusions: sources of stored
energy, e,g volutin

Plasmid

Plasmids are smallcircular/line


extrachromosomaldouble-stranded DNA
moleculesThey are capable of selfreplication and contain genes that confer
some propertiessuch as antibiotic
resistancevirulence factorsPlasmids are
not essential for cellular survival.

granulose

Inclusions are
aggregates of various
compounds that are
normally involved in
storing energy
reserves or building
blocks for the cell.
Inclusions accumilate
when a cell is grown
in the presence of
excess nutrients and
they are often
observed under
laboratory conditions.

Inclusions of
Bacteria

Nucleus

Lacking nuclear
membrane, absence
of nucleoli, hence
known as nucleic
material or nucleoid,
one to several per
bacterium.

Capsules and slime layers

Attachment
Protection from phagocytic
engulfment.
Resistance to drying.
Depot for waste products.
Reservoir for certain
nutrients.
protection

These are structures surrounding the outside of the cell envelope. They
usually consist of polysaccharide; however, in certain bacilli they are
composed of a polypeptide (polyglutamic acid). They are not essential
to cell viability and some strains within a species will produce a capsule,
whilst others do not. Capsules are often lost during in vitro culture.

Some bacterial

species are mobile and possess


locomotory organelles - flagella. Flagella consist of a
number of proteins including flagellin
The diameter of a flagellum is thin, 20 nm, and
long with some having a length 10 times the
diameter of cell. Due to their small diameter, flagella
cannot be seen in the light microscope unless a
special stain is applied. Bacteria can have one or
more flagella arranged in clumps or spread all over
the cell.

Identification
of Bacteria
Pathogenesis
Motility of
bacteria

Monotrichate/Amphitrichate/Lophotrichate/Peritrichate

Flagella

Pili
Pili are hair-like projections of the cell , They are
known to be receptors for certain bacterial viruses.
Chemical nature is pilin
Classification and Function
a. Common pili or fimbriae: fine , rigid numerous,
related to bacterial adhesion
b. Sex pili: longer and coarser, only 1-4, related to
bacterial conjugation

Endospores
(spores)

Dormant cell
Resistant to adverse
conditions
- high temperatures
- organic solvents

Identification of
Bacteria
Pathogenesis
Resistance

Produced when starved


Contain calcium dipicolinate
DPA, Dipicolinic acid
Bacillus and Clostridium

Methods
Microscope
Light Microscope
Electron Microscope
Darkfield Microscope
Phase Contrast Microscope
Fluorescence Microscope
Cofocal Microscope
Staining Methods

Simple staining;
Differential staining ( Gram
stain, Acid-fast stain),
Special staining( Negative stain,
Spore stain, Flagella stain)