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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1985 Aug; 50(2): 364–372.
PMCID: PMC238629

Formation of Filaments by Pseudomonas putida


When Pseudomonas putida 40 was grown on a variety of liquid media in which oxygen became a limiting factor during growth, the latter stages of growth involved the elongation of cells without septation, which can result in the complete filamentation of the culture (up to several hundred micrometers long). The filaments appeared to consist of a chain of protoplasts within a common sacculus. Later these filaments were capable of a rapid fragmentation by septation to give a population of ordinary rods with a corresponding increase in the number of viable particles but no appreciable change in total bacterial mass. Filamentation did not occur if slow growth rates were maintained by restriction of oxygen availability from the beginning of growth. In complex media filaments were not formed during growth on 1% peptone alone, but the addition of 0.1 M phosphate or 6.6 × 10−4 M EDTA induced extensive filamentation that was reversed by the addition of 6.6 × 10−4 M Mg2+. In minimal media a much higher Mg2+ concentration than that required for active growth or present in the complex media was usually required for filamentation. A very narrow range of Mg2+ concentration promoted filamentation, and this optimum differed markedly depending on the carbon source used. Other medium variations which influenced the level of filamentation are reported. We found that most strains of P. putida (including the neotype strain) and P. fluorescens gave filaments under the conditions developed with strain 40, whereas several strains of P. aeruginosa failed to give filaments on the same media.

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Selected References

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