The Prokaryotes pp 3710-3731 | Cite as

The Order Planctomycetales and the Genera Planctomyces, Pirellula, Gemmata, and Isosphaera

  • J. T. Staley
  • J. A. Fuerst
  • S. Giovannoni
  • H. Schlesner


The order Planctomycetales comprises a remarkable group of budding bacteria. They and their nearest relatives, the chlamydiae (Weis-burg et al., 1986) (see Chapter 202), are the only known cell-wall containing eubacteria that lack peptidoglycan. Furthermore, the planctomycetes are morphologically distinctive because of their budding division, their spherical to ovoid cells with crateriform pits (Figs. I and 2), and the nonprosthecate appendages (stalks) produced by some members of the group (Fig. 3). In some species the stalks, which are multifibrillar bundles or fascicles (Fig. 2), are too thin to be discerned by light microscopy. Multicellular aggregates or rosettes are formed by some species that produce polar holdfasts (Fig. 3). One genus, Isosphaera, is a multicellular fila-mentous bacterium that moves by gliding. Other motile members of the group produce flagella. Knowledge of the order is limited due to the relatively few species that have been obtained in pure culture and characterized.
Fig. 1

An electron micrograph of a motile cell of Pirellula marina showing flagellum (fl) and numerous circular surface structures referred to as crateriform structures (cr). More distinctive crateriform structures are evidenced on some species (see Fig. 2 below). Bar = 1.0 µm. (Courtesy of Heinz Schlesner.)


Swarmer Cell Ovoid Cell Soil Extract Agar Ampicillin Sodium Salt Prosthecate Bacterium 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. T. Staley
  • J. A. Fuerst
  • S. Giovannoni
  • H. Schlesner

There are no affiliations available

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