Caption: Streptomyces hygroscopicus - Gram-positive, aerobic, filamentous, biofilm-forming, rod prokaryote (bacterium). Streptomyces spp. belong to the Actinomycetes group and are bacteria that share many characteristics with the 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 of indefinite length develop (not seen in this image). These soil bacteria are responsible for the musty odor of soil. Some Streptomyces bacteria produce antibiotics such as streptomycin. This strain of Streptomyces hygroscopicus produces the antibiotic, milbemycin, which is used as an insecticide and also to control certain parasitic infections in animals. It is also a biofilm forming bacterium. Biofilms are primarily accumulations of bacteria in aqueous environments. They form when bacteria secrete slimy, mucilaginous materials that provide the microorganisms with a means of attachment to moist surfaces. Biofilm microorganisms carry out a variety of detrimental or beneficial reactions under certain environmental conditions.
Magnification*: x1,600
Type: SEM
Copyright 2008 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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