SUMMARY: Bacilli in young cultures of Corynebacteria and Mycobacteria are multicellular. The individual cells are almost spherical, and a single bacillus may contain from one to twelve or more units. Reproduction may take place by division of the constituent cells, followed by simple fission of the bacillus, or alternatively by fragmentation into single cells which subdivide without separating, and grow into multicellular bacilli once more. The latter phenomenon may account for previous descriptions of life cycles in these genera.

The nuclear units are small, spherical granules, resembling those of some species of cocci. The characteristic morphology of Corynebacteria and Mycobacteria is an artefact, resulting from drying and heat-fixation. These genera do not appear to possess any morphological characters in common with the true , with which they are at present classified.


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