Did you perchance mean actinomycetes?
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A class or group of minute vegetable organisms known as bacteria, microbes, microphytes, etc., and allied forms, belonging to the achlorophyllous division of the Schizosporeæ of Cohn (the Schizophyta of later authorities), or to the Protophyta of still more recent authors. They were at first regarded as being simple fungi, and hence are sometimes still called
fission fungi, but recent investigations indicate that they are more closely allied to the Schizophyceæ or lower algæ than to the true fungi. They are probably degenerate algæ, a condition which has been brought about by their saprophytic or parasitic habits. They consist of single cells which may be spherical, oblong, or cylindrical in shape, or of filamentous or various other aggregations of such cells. The cells are commonly about 0.001 millimeter in diameter, or from two to five times that measurement; but smaller and a few larger ones are known. They are, with one or two exceptions, destitute of chlorophyl, and multiply by repeated bipartitions. True spores are known in several forms, but no traces of sexual organs exist. They are saprophytic or parasitic, and occur the world over as saprophytes. They abound in running streams and rivers, in still ponds and ditches; in the sea, in bogs, drains, and refuse-heaps; in the soil, and wherever organic infusions are allowed to stand; in liquids containing organic matter, as blood, milk, wine, etc.; and on solid food-stuff, such as meat, vegetables, preserves, etc. As parasites, numerous species inhabit various organs of men and animals, causing most of the infectious diseases, as tuberculosis, typhoid fever, cholera, etc. Plants are subject to their attack to a more limited degree, a circumstance that is probably due to the acid fluids of the higher vegetable organisms. Schizomycetes vary to a considerable extent according to the conditions of their environment, and hence many growth-forms occur which have frequently received different generic names. The round growth-forms are called Coccusor Micrococcus; the rod-like forms have been termed Bacillus, Bacterium, etc.; the shortly coiled forms are known as Vibrio; the spiral forms have received the names Spirillum or Spirochæta; and the very elongated filiform ones are Leptothrix, etc. Their behavior with reference to the supply or exclusion of oxygen has led to their division by Pasteur into aerobiotic, or such as require a plentiful supply of free oxygen for the purpose of vegetation, and anaërobiotic, or those in which vegetation is promoted by the exclusion of oxygen, or at least is possible when oxygen is excluded. There are however, various intermediate forms. See entophyte, Fungi, Protophyta, Bacteriaceæ, Bacterium, Micrococcus, Leptothrix. Bacillus, Spirillum, Spirochæta, Vibrio.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Biol.) An order of Schizophyta, including the so-called fission fungi, or bacteria. See schizophyta, in the Supplement.
- n. a former classification
“The most satisfactory designation is that proposed by Nägeli in 1857, namely "schizomycetes," and it is by this term that they are usually known among botanists; the less exact term, however, is also used and is retained in this article since the science is commonly known as "bacteriology.”
“On the other hand, no really scientific classification of the schizomycetes has yet been drawn up, and the varying morphological appearances of the members of the family are still utilised as a basis for classification, as under --”
“The schizomycetes or bacteria are minute vegetable organisms devoid of chlorophyll and multiplying by repeated bipartitions.”
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