Little is known about the processes involved in the conversion of bacteria to the L-phase but extreme changes occur in the morphology of various species during L-phase induction. Few reports are available on the development of the L-phase of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Studies by Dienes, Bandur & Madoff (1964) were largely unsuccessful due to the lack of a suitable medium. However, Roberts (I 966) cultured gonoccocal L-forms on medium osmotic ally stabilized with sucrose, and more recently Lawson & Douglas (1973) reported successful induction and maintenance using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as an osmotic stabilizer.

We have shown that it is possible to induce gonococcal L-forms by incorporating PVP in a commercial, dehydrated medium for N. gonorrhoeae (Waitkins & Geary, unpublished observations) and have now used this medium, with an agar-block impression staining technique, to trace the development of L-forms of gonococci. Lawson & Douglas (1973) found that PVP was far more efficient than sucrose for stabilizing gonococcal L-forms; we have confirmed this, and have attempted to explain the difference by comparing the effects of these stabilizers on the morphology of the developing L-form.


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