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J Bacteriol. Mar 1977; 129(3): 1506–1512.
PMCID: PMC235129

Ultrastructure of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens: a gram-positive bacterium.

Abstract

The cells of bacteria of the genus Butyrivibrio are universally described as being gram negative, and they produce an unequivocal gram-negative reaction in the standard staining procedure. However, their cell walls contain derivatives of teichoic acid, which are characteristic of gram-positive cells. In this study, the cell walls of two representative strains of Butyrivibrio were of the gram-positive morphological type, as seen by electron microscopy, but they were very thin (12 to 18 nm). The thinness of these cell walls may account for the tendency of these cells to stain gram negatively in the standard staining procedure. Ruthenium red staining revealed an extracellular structure surrounding cells of Butyrivibio sp. (strain C3). This structure was composed of individual "knobs" that sometimes mediated cell-to-cell adhesion in the culture.

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Selected References

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