A.B. DOWSETT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY A.B. DOWSETT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, cause of botulism food poisoning in humans, in the process of sporulation (spore formation). A spore- releasing sequence is seen. The yellow bacterl cell at centre left is in the early vegetative stage & contains a spore (red). The yellow cell at top is in an advanced vegetative stage with a well-developed spore; below it is a blue cell whose spore (red) is being released. The blue cell at bottom has released its spore, & its cell contents are breaking down. Spores enable C. botulinum to survive unfavourable conditions. Magnification: x12, 500 at 6x4.
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