The sheathed flagellum of Vibrio metchnikovii was chosen for a study of the attachment of the flagellum to the bacterial cell. Normal and autolysed organisms and isolated flagella were studied by electron microscopy using the techniques of thin sectioning and negative staining. The sheath of the flagellum has the same layered structure as the cell wall of the bacterium, and in favourable thin sections it appears that the sheath is a continuation of the cell wall. After autolysis the sheath is usually absent and the core of the flagellum has a diameter of 120 A. Electron micrographs of autolysed bacteria negatively stained with potassium phosphotungstate show that the core ends in a basal disc just inside the plasma membrane. The basal disc is about 350 A in diameter and is thus considerably smaller than the "basal granules" described previously by other workers.

This content is only available as a PDF.