Pseudomonas Fluorescens: Characteristics, Motility & Habitat

Instructor: Derrick Arrington

Derrick has a master's degree in science education and has taught at the high school and community college level for 13 years.

Microbes are everywhere. In this lesson, we will explore the world of a fascinating bacterium known as Pseudomonas Fluorescens to learn more about how it lives and where it can be found.

A Bacterial World

Since the invention of the microscope biologists have discovered numerous types of microbial organisms that inhabit virtually every part of our planet. Many of these tiny organisms are classified as bacteria. A bacterium is a microscopic, unicellular organism, that has a cell wall but lacks individual cellular organelles found in more complex organisms. Bacteria can come in many shapes and sizes and can be beneficial such as those that aid in the processes of decomposition and fermentation or harmful such as those that cause disease. There is no doubt that bacteria are near you and actually inside you as you read this lesson!

Characteristics of Pseudomonas Fluorescens

Bacteria are classified by their shape. The term cocci is used to refer to bacteria that are round in shape. Bacteria that are said to be bacilli are rod shaped, and spirilla are spiral or curved in form. Pseudomonas Fluorescens is a rod shaped bacteria. They are generally about 0.5 to 1.0 micrometers in length with visible flagella extending from their cell wall. Pseudomonas Fluoresecens belong to a group of bacteria that are called gram-negative. Bacteria with this characterization have a thin layer of material known as peptidoglycan outside of their cell membrane that makes them appear red after common staining procedures in the laboratory. This does tend to make them more resistant to antibiotics as they have this extra layer of protection to prevent infiltration of the antibiotics.

You may have noticed that the name of the bacteria sounds a lot like the word fluorescent. This is no coincidence. These bacteria are known to secrete a fluorescent pigment known as pyoverdin that makes them brightly colored under certain conditions. Another important characteristic of Pseudomonas Fluorescens is their classification as obligate aerobes. This means that they must be in the presence of oxygen to survive and can die from oxidative stress in oxygen depleted environments.

Typical rod-shaped bacteria with flagella.

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