SUMMARY: The reproductive processes occurring in mycobacteria were studied in mycelial strains of avian tubercle bacilli and the developments recorded by phase-contrast microscopy. Three main developments were traced: (1) Disintegrating mycelial branches release micro-rods (as small as 0.2 μU.), which later elongate into bacillary forms. (2) Parts of some mycelia produce filamentous sprouts which grow into entangled nests of filaments, and finally give rise to spherical colonics of short rods. (3) Some mycelial branches become swollen and very dense. Later they become more transparent and parallel rows of filaments are revealed lying orientated along the length of the branches. The typical morphology of orientated and non-orientated growth is explained with reference to the modes of development. Growth is preceded by a stage of mycelial proliferation, which is mainly non-acid-fast, but results in microeolonies of the normal acid-fast rod. The relation between some atypical structures and L-forms is discussed.


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