Gram-negative Bacterial Cell Wall - P2
Photographic guides to differential stains
This differential staining not only colors the bacteria, but the specific stain reaction distinguishes between two meaningful categories of bacteria based on the differences in their cell wall structure.
Page last updated: 11/2015
from the free STEM
You have free access to a large collection of materials used in a college-level introductory microbiology course. The Virtual Microbiology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including PowerPoint Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions and Practice Test Questions.
Gram Negative Bacteria as Pathogens
Many Gram-negative bacteria are pathogens; bacteria that can cause disease. This pathogenicity is typically associated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxins in Gram-negative cell walls, and other Gram-negative virulence factors such as the fimbriae, which help bacteria adhere to cells they can infect, and an additional layer called a capsule, which helps them stick and hide from the host' immune system.
Sources & Resources
- Bauman, R. (2014) Microbiology with Diseases by Taxonomy 4th ed.
- Park Talaro, K. (2008) Foundations in Microbiology.
- Gram Stain Bite Sized Tutorial: This is an extremely useful tutorial that shows, step-by-step, the Gram-staining procedure and the appearance of Gram+ and Gram- bacterial cells.
After the Gram stain procedure, Gram+ cells appear purple; their thick layers of peptidoglycan having retained the primary stain, crystal violet. Because Gram negative cells have a very thin layer of peptidoglycan layer, these cells do not retain the purple primary stain. At the end of the Gram staining procedure, Gram-negative cells retain the secondary stain, safanin, and appear pink.