Morphology of Prokaryotic Cells

Prokaryotes come in a variety of simple shapes and often group together, forming chains or clusters. These characteristics, particularly the shape, are used to describe, classify, and identify microorganisms.


Most common bacteria are one of two shapes: spherical, called a coccus (plural: cocci); and cylindrical, called a rod (figure 3.20). A rod-shaped bacterium is sometimes called a bacillus (plural: bacilli). The descriptive term bacillus should not be confused with Bacillus, the name of a genus. While members of the genus Bacillus are rod-shaped, so are many other bacteria, including Escherichia coli.

Cells have a variety of other shapes. A rod-shaped bacterium that is so short that it can easily be mistaken for a coccus is

Chapter 3 Microscopy and Cell Structure

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Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterized by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina.

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  • Patrice Herring
    What are the major morphologies of prokaryotes?
    2 years ago
  • brandon
    What is morphology of prokaryotic cells?
    1 year ago

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