Ultrastructure and cell division of the filamentous oral bacterium Alysiella Filiformis
Kaiser, Gary E.
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Alysiella filiformis is commonly found on the epithelial cells of the oral cavity in rabbits. An ultrastructure study of these cells has shown A. filiformis attached by numerous pili to the host epithelial cells. The organism possesses a 5-layered cell wall 18-22 nm thick. Cell division occurs by cytoplasmic invagination with concurrent septum formation initiating from the dense innermost layer of the cell wall. This is followed by thickening and delamination of the septum with subsequent invagination of the outer 4 layers of the cell wall causing a partial cell separation. However, the cells of the typical trichomes are still held together by septal bridges. Mesosome-1ike structures were occasionally found and were often in the area of septum formation. Nuclear bodies were fibrous in character and often contained electron dense granular material. Cellular evaginations formed from all but the innermost cell wall layer were occasionally observed. The organism could not be grown in vitro indicating a commensalism type of relationship between the bacterium and the host.