Lactococcus lactis, SEM

Lactococcus lactis, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Lactococcus lactis, Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, coccoid prokaryote (bacterium). Lactococcus lactis, also known as Streptococcus lactis, is an important bacterium used to produce lactic acid. It belongs to the Streptococcus genus and is usually arranged in chains formed by several bacteria. Here is seen undergoing binary fission or cell division. Lactococcus lactis is one of the bacteria involved in the production of lactic acid during milk fermentation. It coverts milk lactose into lactic acid. Lactic acid is a colourless liquid that occurs in yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream. Lactococcus lactis is essential in the production of cheese such as Roquefort, Brie and Camembert. Some strains of this bacterium can cause bacterial endocarditis. Magnification: x7,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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