DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Arthrobacter sp., Gram-positive to Gram-variable, coryneform, pleomorphic, soil bacterium. This genus is unique because of its unusual habit of snapping division in which the outer cell wall ruptures at a joint. This type of cell division in which rods break into cocci is referred to as reversion. This strain was isolated from sediment that had high levels of heavy metals. This genus can survive in heavy metal contaminate soil. Recently it has been shown that several species of Arthrobacter can reduce hexavalent chromium which can cause severe reactions in humans. Some species are also known to biodegrade agricultural herbicides and pesticides. Magnification: x2,400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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