SUMMARY: An investigation has been made of the sequence of morphological events involved in the processes of microcyst formation and germination in the fruiting myxobacterium By using time-lapse photo-micrographs and phase-contrast microscopy of living cells, microcyst formation is shown to involve a shortening and thickening of the entire vegetative cell with a subsequent increase of refractility. Germination is preceded by the casting off of a sheath followed by the gradual elongation and loss of refractility of the cell. Vegetative rods will readily form spheroplasts when exposed to a variety of conditions including sulphydryl compounds. The necessity for distinguishing between spheroplasts and microcysts is pointed out.


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