SUMMARY. Auto-agglutinated and non-agglutinated cells of and were examined by transmission electronmicros-copy in phosphotungstate negative stain. Agglutination was induced by three factors (1) extracellular DNA, (2) an aggregated protein, probably a bacteriophage precursor, and (3) free phage-tail sheaths. Auto-agglutinated cells were often “leaky,” with a mantle of adhering DNA. About 80% of the auto-agglutinated cells could be resuspended after treatment with DNAase. Flagella were loosely embedded in protein aggregates, especially in phage-infected cultures. They were clumped in a side-by-side arrangement by free phage-tail sheaths. These findings suggest that auto-agglutination could be minimised in suspensions of organisms intended for use in agglutination tests by harvesting early logarithmic-phase cells containing no more than a low phage population. The most common phage had a contractile tail, a head diameter of 60-70 nm, and an overall length of 180-210 nm. A phage isolated from strain 1590 was morphologically identical with phage.


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