DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Streptomyces thermoviolaceus, Gram-positive, aerobic, filamentous, rod prokaryote (bacterium). Streptomyces thermoviolaceus is a thermophilic actinomycete that often lives in the soil and on decaying wood. It grows actively on xylan as a sole carbon source. It has the ability to form spores with small hemispherical warts in spiral chains that are called tuberculate. Streptomyces sp. belongs to the Actinomycetes group and are bacteria that share many characteristics with fungi. They grow usually as filaments (chains of cells) and often branch to form a network of filaments (mycelium) in the soil. At the tips of filaments spore chains (tuberculate) of indefinite length develop (not seen in this image). These soil bacteria are responsible for the musty odour of soil. Magnification: x2,935 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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