Many shapes for bacteria

Bacteria are classed by shape, feeding method, metabolism and wall features. Different forms of cells can be observed under the microscope. Cocci (from the Greek berries) are round in shape; when clustered together, they are called staphylococci, while when gathered into chains they are called streptococci. Rod-like prokaryotes are called bacilli. Bacilli can usually be found as separate cells, but sometimes they can be found in pairs (diplobacilli) or chains (streptobacilli). Other bacteria are bent in shape or look like a squat spiral. The former are called vibriones, while the latter are called spirilla. Finally, bacteria that look like a long and flexible spiral are called spirochetes. Spirochetes include some “giant” bacteria that can be up to 0.5 mm long, i.e. 500 times bigger than an ordinary prokaryote cell.

Special reports

  • 4 March 2010

    Biotechnological cleaners

    In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are...

    5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

  • 4 April 2013

    Carbon (14C) dating method

    The radiocarbon dating method...

    26 July 2021

    Japanese beetles and other alien species

    There is a beetle that has been invading the Italian countryside and cities for some time now, a small insect…

  • 16 June 2021

    A turtle’s life

    World Sea Turtle Day is held on 16 June. First established in 2008, the day is now supported by Sea…

    10 June 2021

    The world below

    Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a famous science fiction novel written by the great Jules Verne in…

From the Multimedia section

Facts

  • Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

    Decomposing organisms

    The ability to destroy organic matter has been used by man...

    Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

  • Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

    Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

    Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

  • High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

    Predator mushroom

    <em>Pleutrotus ostreatus</em> mushroom does not have teeth or claws but it is...

    A super-milk

    Some protozoa have attracted the interest of the biotechnological research world...

  • 13 May 2011

    Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

    Decomposing organisms

    The ability to destroy organic matter has been used by man...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

    Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

    Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

  • Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

  • Decomposing organisms

    The ability to destroy organic matter has been used by man...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...