weird bacteria

Trond Erik Vee Aune trondaun at
Thu Feb 27 08:52:50 EST 2003


I've just isolated a bacteria which is showing some strange behaviour. 
After finding it on a non-selective plate amongst many other different 
bacteria, I streaked it onto a new plate. For some reason it did not 
come up as a continous smear, but as distinct colonies, even where I had 
put a large amount of colony material. And more surprising, it even came 
up at places where I had not streaked. I tried it again, and this time I 
shook the needle before streaking to try to remove possible spores. When 
streaking, I made sure to keep the needle close to the surface of the 
agar. Despite of all these efforts, new colonies grew up up to 1,5 cm 
away from the area where I had put the colony material. And still no 
continous growth, almost like they are inhibiting themselves.

Recently I looked on them in a microscope, and they were definitive 
bacteria. They looked almost like E.coli, but bigger. No sign of spores 
or different strains. They moved with what looked like polar flagella.

Have any of you seen bacteria behave this way (the spreading I mean)? 
I've never heard of bacteria able to catapult themselves away from the 
mother colony up to 1,5 cm away and then proliferate. Or maybe 
individual cells are swarming away and then, for some reason, start to 
divide and form colonies? There's something rotten in Denmark.

Kind regards,
Trond Erik Vee Aune

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