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Ectothiorhodospira bacterium. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a section through an extremophile Ectothiorhodospira sp. bacterium. This bacillus (rod-shaped) bacterium is photosynthetic, with its active pigments arranged in well defined layers (green) in its cytoplasm. It needs high salt and sulphide concentrations to survive. It lives in salty pools, and prefers high temperatures (around 80 degrees Celsius) and an alkaline pH (between 7-9). The bacteria oxidise sulphides to form elemental sulphur, which is deposited outside the cells. Due to the extreme conditions they require, they are not pathogenic in humans. Magnification: x7500 at 6x8cm size.
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