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Clockwise and counterclockwise pinwheel colony morphologies of Bacillus subtilis are correlated with the helix hand of the strain.

By N H Mendelson and S L Keener


Helical macrofiber-producing strains of Bacillus subtilis grown on fresh complex medium semisolid surfaces formed "pinwheel"-shaped colonies. Clockwise pinwheel projections arose from colonies of strains that produce right-handed helical macrofibers in fluid cultures. Most strains able to make left-handed helical macrofibers in fluid grew as disorganized wavy colonies without directed projections. A phage-resistant left-handed mutant was found that produces very tight colonies with pinwheel projections that lie counterclockwise relative to the colony. The pinwheel colony morphology is interpreted therefore in terms of the cell surface organization and helical growth

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1982
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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