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Bacteria Morphology & Classification

Dr. Ashish Jawarkar Consultant Pathologist Parul Sevashram Hospital

Learning Objectives
After completing this section you should be able to perform the following objectives:
list the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell Describe the structure of a bacterial cell and explain the function of its components Explain why cell wall forms the basis for classification of bacteria Explain the structural modifications (flagella) of the cell and their functional importance
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Size of Bacteria
Unit of measurement in bacteriology is the micron (micrometre, m) 1 micrometre (10-6)= 1/1000 mm = 1/10000 cm = 1/100000 metre 1 nanometer (10-9)= 1/1000 micrometer = 1/100000000 meter Bacteria of medical importance
0.2 1.5 m in diameter 3 5 m in length
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Dr. Ashish Jawarkar

Dr. Ashish Jawarkar

Based on the organization of their cellular structures, all living cells can be divided into two groups: eukaryotic and prokaryotic
Eukaryotic cell types - Animals, plants, fungi, protozoans

Prokaryotic cell types - bacteria

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Prokaryotic Cells
prokaryotes are molecules surrounded by a membrane and cell wall. they lack a true nucleus and dont have membrane bound organelles like mitochondria, etc. large surface-to-volume ratio : nutrients can easily and rapidly reach any part of the cells interior
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Anatomy of a Bacterial Cell

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Anatomy of A Bacterial Cell

Outer layer two components:
1. Rigid cell wall 2. Cytoplasmic (Cell/ Plasma) membrane present beneath cell wall

Cytoplasm cytoplasmic inclusions, ribosomes, mesosomes, genetic material Additional structures capsule, flagella, fimbriae (pili), spores
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Structure & Function of Cell Components

Outermost layer, encloses cytoplasm
1.Confers shape and rigidity 2.10 - 25 nm thick

3.Composed of peptidoglycan

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Cell Wall
Cell wall
4.Chemical nature of the cell wall helps to divide bacteria into two broad groups Gram positive & Gram negative 5.Carries bacterial antigens important in virulence & immunity gm ve cell wall has lipopolysachhrides fever and necrosis 6.Several antibiotics may interfere with cell wall synthesis e.g. Penicillin, Cephalosporins

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Gram positive cell wall

The Gram-positive cell wall is composed of a thick, multilayered peptidoglycan sheath outside of the cytoplasmic membrane. Teichoic acids are linked to and embedded in the peptidoglycan, and lipoteichoic acids extend into the cytoplasmic membrane
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Gram negative cell wall

The Gram-negative cell wall is composed of an outer membrane linked to thin, mainly single-layered peptidoglycan by lipoproteins.The outer membrane includes porins, which allow the passage of small hydrophilic molecules across the membrane, and lipopolysaccharide molecules that extend into extracellular space.
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Cytoplasmic (Plasma) membrane

Thin layer 5-10 nm, separates cell wall from cytoplasm Acts as a semipermeable membrane: controls the inflow and outflow of metabolites Composed of lipoproteins with small amounts of carbohydrates

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Other Cytoplasmic Components

Ribosomes protein synthesis Mesosomes
1.Multilaminated structures formed as invaginations of plasma membrane 2.Principal sites of respiratory enzymes

Intracytoplasmic inclusions reserve of energy & phosphate for cell metabolism e.g. Metachromatic granules in diphtheria bacilli

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No nucleolus No nuclear membrane Genome

single, circular double stranded DNA.

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Additional Organelles
1. Plasmid
Extranuclear genetic elements consisting of DNA Transmitted to daughter cells Confer certain properties e.g. drug resistance, toxicity

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Additional Organelles
2. Capsule
Viscous layer secreted around the cell wall. Polysaccharide / polypeptide in nature Capsule sharply defined structure, antigenic in nature
Protects bacteria Stained by negative staining using India Ink

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Additional Organelles
3. Flagella
Long (3 to 12 m), filamentous surface appendages Organs of locomotion

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Types of flagellar arrangement

Polar/ Monotrichous single flagellum at one pole

Lophotrichous tuft of flagella at one pole

Amphitrichous flagella at both poles

Peritrichous flagella all over

Amphilophotrichous tuft of flagella at both ends

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Additional Organelles
4. Fimbriae/ Pili
Thin, hairlike appendages on the surface of many Gram-negative bacteria 10-20 long, acts as organs of adhesion

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Additional Organelles
5. Spores
Highly resistant resting stages formed during adverse environment (depletion of nutrients) Formed inside the parent cell, hence called Endospores Very resistant to heat, radiation and drying and can remain dormant for hundreds of years. Formed by bacteria like Clostridia, bacillus
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Differences between prokaryotic & eukaryotic cells

Character Nucleus Nuclear membrane Nucleolus Chromosome Cytoplasmi Structure and c Composition membrane Prokaryotes Absent Absent One circular fluid phospholipid bilayer, lacks sterols Eukaryotes Present Present One or more paired and linear fluid phospholipid bilayer containing sterols

Differences between prokaryotic & eukaryotic cells

Character Cytoplasm Mitochondria Prokaryotes Absent Eukaryotes Present

Golgi apparatus Endoplasmic reticulum Vacuoles Ribosomes

Absent Absent Absent Present

Present Present Present Present

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Differences between prokaryotic & eukaryotic cells

Cell Wall


Absent Except Fungi

Locomotor organelles


Flagella/ Cilia

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Binary Fission
DNA replication Plasma membrane invaginate Cell wall deposited in invaginated space Cross wall completed Cells separate

Binary Fission
Light micrograph

Binary Fission

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Consequences of Binary Fission

Very large number of cells very fast Mathematical progressions
arithmetic (1>2>4>6>8>10>12>14>16) geometric(1>2>4>8>16)
exponential expression (20 > 21 > 22 >23>24) logarithmic expression(0 >log21>log22>log23>log24)

Bacterial Growth Curve

Stationary phase Death phase

Log phase

Lag phase 1 5 Time (hours) 10

G: Generation time
Time in minutes or hours for a population of bacteria to double in number

Calculation of Generation Time

Log Number of Bacteria

Double # cells

Log phase

Generation time
1 5 Time (hours) 10

GENERATION TIME / population doubling time

E-coli 20 min MTb - 20 hours Mleprae - 20 days

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Minimum Growth requirements

Water as a source of carbon Nitrogen source Inorganic salts like phosphate, sulphate, sodium, potassium, iron etc need to be supplied in culture media

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Phototrophs derive energy from sunlight Chemotrophs from chemical reactions Autotrophs synthesize organic compounds Heteretrophs cannot synthesize, depend on others

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Oxygen requirement
Aerobic V. cholera Anaerobic - Clostridia

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Carbon dioxide
All require Some like Brucella, req 5-10% k/a capnophilic

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Mesophilic 25-40 Psychrophilc - <20 Thermophilic 55-80 Except thermophilic, most die at 50-60, k/a thermal death point

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Other factors
Moisture pH

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