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J Bacteriol. 1984 May;158(2):474-80.

Pleomorphism of fusobacteria isolated from the cockroach hindgut.


Fusobacteria are commonly isolated from the hindgut of the cockroach Eublaberus posticus . Eleven strains isolated from E. posticus by us were keyed to four species, Fusobacterium necrophorum, F. varium , F. gonidiaformans , and F. prausnitzii , using current taxonomic criteria. With the exception of F. gonidiaformis , all species showed rods with swollen centers and large bodies. The pleomorphism of F. varium was examined by phase microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The pleomorphic process begins with a gradual swelling at the center of the rod until a large round body is formed. Some of these round bodies then fragment, giving rise to rod-shaped cells. When 10% yeast extract was added to growth media, pleomorphism was not induced. A dialyzable factor was found to account for this observation. Fermentation of [1-14C]glutamic acid gives rise to butyrate labeled in the carboxyl carbon, indicating that butyrate is formed by the hydroxyglutarate pathway which may be characteristic for the genus Fusobacterium.

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