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Res Microbiol. 2005 Dec;156(10):1026-30. Epub 2005 Jul 19.

A morphological transition in the pleomorphic bacterium Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310.

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Laboratoire d'Ecologie Microbienne de la Rhizosphère, CEA Cadarache, DSV-DEVM, UMR 6191 CNRS-CEA-Université Aix-Marseille 2, 13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance Cedex, France.


We provide microscopic evidence that motile rod-shaped forms of Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310 are formed from dividing cyst-like cells. Careful estimation of the size of the two morphotypes was conducted using optical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The cyst-like cell was shown to be a sphere with a diameter Dc=850 nm. The rod-shaped form was a round-ended cylinder with length Lr=2.91 microm and diameter Dr=239 nm. The membrane area of the two morphotypes was the same. However, the formation of rods from cysts involved loss of two-thirds of the cell volume. TEM showed that, prior to division and transition into rods, cysts contained condensed cytoplasmic material. These results suggest that the morphological transition occurs by pure reshaping of cells.

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