MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Antibiotic-producing bacteria. Light micrograph of a colony of Streptomyces griseus, the natural producer of the antibiotic streptomycin. Streptomyces species share many characteristics with fungi. The bacteria commonly grow in the soil as branching networks of filaments (thin hair- like), known as mycelia. They also produce aerial mycelia, from the tips of which develop chains of spores (small dots). Discovered in the 1940s, streptomycin was the first effective drug treatment for tuberculosis. It is not now widely used having been largely replaced by newer, more- effective drugs. Phase contrast technique. Magnification: x250 at 35mm size.
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