Spore-like Structures in the Tubercle Bacillus


ELECTRON microscopy of ultra-thin sections of avian tubercle bacilli growing on various solid media has revealed details of their internal anatomy. In the initial phase of growth, the structure was similar to that described in the ordinary bacteria1–3. Each rod contained a central dense core in the form of a thread or group of granules within an electron-transparent area (Fig. 1). This structure is believed to represent the nuclear apparatus. There appeared to be some correlation between the phase of growth of the bacillus and the configuration of the dense core. When division by transverse fission took place, each daughter cell contained its own nuclear apparatus. The cytoplasm of the avian tubercle bacilli showed certain differences from the bacteria, and contained large, fairly dense granules (300 A.); but the general pattern of reproduction appeared to be the same.

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