The Prokaryotes pp 3237-3240 | Cite as

Serpens flexibilis: An Unusually flexible Bacterium

  • Robert B. Hespell


Many eutrophic aquatic environments as typified by ponds or sewage lagoons harbor a wide variety of aerobic bacteria in the upper water layers. Thin, flexible bacteria such as spirilla, spirochetes, and Serpens flexibilis constitute a small fraction of the total microorganisms in these environments. The use of enrichment procedures to isolate these flexible bacteria usually is not successful because they are rapidly overgrown by the other bacteria, even when lownutrient-containing media are used. Presumably, these flexible bacteria can compete in their natural environments because of factors such as high cell-surface to cell-volume ratios that allow for maximizing transport of nutrients, possession of chemotaxis mechanisms, and unusual motility properties that allow for movement through viscous solutions (Greenberg and Canale-Parola, 1977).


Sodium Lactate Diaminopimelic Acid Muramic Acid Hexose Monophosphate Lateral Flagellum 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Robert B. Hespell

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