Human Microbiology by Simon P Hardy

By Simon P Hardy

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It is worth noting that flagella are rare in spherical bacteria. Theoretically, calculations indicate that the optimal shape for bacteria movement through fluids is a cylinder. For rod-shaped bacteria, an optimal SA/V ratio can be maintained with varying length but also the appropriate length to width ratio for the movement can be achieved. Thus spherical objects (cocci) offer too much resistance to movement compared with cylinders. Motility in cocci instead occurs by a mechanism called ‘twitching’.

In order to get the cell wall to stain, it is necessary to drive the stain into the cell wall by gently heating the slide. Once the dyes have penetrated they are difficult to extract, resisting elution by weak acids. 3 OSMOTIC PRESSURE Hypotonic solutions have a lower ionic strength than the reference solution (also called ‘a lower osmotic pressure’). Osmotic strength is measured in Osmoles/litre. A 300 mM solution of sucrose will have an osmotic strength of 300 mOsmoles, whereas the same strength solution of NaCl will have 600mOsmoles/litre (2 × 300 mOsmoles as both sodium and chloride ions will contribute equally).

The cytoplasmic membrane is a dynamic structure, undergoing changes in its composition in response to the changing environment the bacterium encounters. 3 NUCLEIC ACID In general, bacteria possess a single closed circular loop of DNA as their chromosome. 6 FUNCTIONS OF THE CYTOPLASMIC MEMBRANE Cytoplasmic membrane functions include: • • • • • • osmotic barrier, transport of solutes (nutrients and ions), exclusion of charged toxic compounds, assembly and transport of peptidoglycan, energetics: the electron transport chain, site of signalling with extracellular ligands.

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