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Can J Microbiol. 1977 Dec;23(12):1733-6.

Microscopic examination of natural sessile bacterial populations from an alpine stream.


Natural populations of bacteria assoiciated with the slime on submerged surfaces in a mountain stream were examined by phase-contrast and electron microscopy. The slime contained large numbers of bacteria which were predominantly gram-negative as determined by their cell wall structure. Examination of the in situ distribution of cells revealed that they were enmeshed in an extensive fibrous matrix whose component fibrils were stained with ruthenium red. The arrangement of slime fibrils immediately around individual bacterial cells suggested that this material was produced by these bacteria. This slime facilitated microcolony development and also anchored the bacteria to a particular surface. It is proposed that these slime-enmeshed microcolonies constitute functional communities within which most sessile bacteria live.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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