An Introduction to Microbiology. Pharmaceutical Monographs by W. B. Hugo, J. B. Stenlake

By W. B. Hugo, J. B. Stenlake

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Thus the final picture in the Gram-staining procedure is that Gram-positive cells appear blue and Gram-negative cells take the colour of the second stain or counter stain only, and in the example quoted appear red. At first sight it is strange that this series of operations should divide and classify bacteria into two categories, such a division being further paralleled by other well-marked differences. Attempts to explain why in one group of bacteria, after treatment with a dye and iodine, the colour may be washed from the cell with ethanol and in another group it cannot, may be divided into two categories.

It should be clearly realised that methods 1, 3 and 4 measure either directly or indirectly the total bacterial population, whether living or dead. The Pattern of Bacterial Multiplication Assuming optimum or near optimum conditions, the pattern of the multiplication of bacteria from an inoculum into a liquid medium, is as follows (Fig. 12). 38 BACTERIAL GROWTH 1. An initial stationary or lag phase. In typical instances this may be as little as 20 minutes, during which there is very little, if any, increase in the numbers of the viable population.

Another type of cellular variation is a loss of flagella and hence motility. Variation in virulence and in antigenic structure is also found. Variation in nutritional requirements is often encountered. While it is undoubtedly true that some changes in the characters of micro-organisms are due to adaptive changes which may not be genetically controlled, it is now known that change and exchange in the genetic make-up of bacteria can and does occur. Changes in the genetic make-up of cells can be brought about by ultraviolet light of certain wave-lengths and this might be one of the processes of natural or spontaneous mutation.

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