Summary: The structure of the surface of colonies of various Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria was examined by transmission electron microscopy. The results indicate that bacterial colonies in the course of their development produce a film which becomes thicker with increased duration of growth. The basic part of the film is an elementary membrane, which is a stable structure with a large surface area. The inner and outer surfaces of the film membrane are covered by amorphous layers. These layers are thicker in the surface film of Gram-negative bacterial colonies than in those of Gram-positive bacteria. Membrane vesicles from the bacterial colonies take part in the formation of the surface film. The presence of the film on the surface of the colonies of different bacteria suggests that this structure may play an important role.


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