Food Science and Technology Department


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Published in APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Jan. 1979, p. 159-168.


Representative highly radiation-resistant Moraxella-Acinetobacter (M-A), Pseudomonas radiora, Micrococcus radiodurans, and Micrococcus radiophilus exhibited a wide variety of division systems and cell wall characteristics. However, the most resistant M-A possessed unusually thick cell walls, indicating a possible role of the cell wall in radiation resistance in the M-A. Thick septation was present in most of the bacteria studied, but was absent in P. radiora, thus excluding this as a necessity for high resistance. Reliable determination of the number of division planes of the M-A for use as a taxonomic criterion was achieved by the direct observation of dividing cells. The highly resistant M-A were found to divide in multiple planes and had base compositions of 54.0 to 57.5%, unlike typical Moraxella and/or Acinetobacter species. The taxonomic position of most highly resistant bacteria remains unclear.

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