Gram negative/positive

Popular Terms
Classification of bacteria according to what color stain they retain. A sample of bacteria (on a slide) is first stained with a violet dye. The slide is then rinsed with ethanol and (if the violet stain washes off) a red dye is added. Depending on the structure of the cell walls, some types of bacteria (such as staphylococcus and streptococcus) retain the violet stain and are called Gram-positive. Other types (such as pseudomonas and salmonella) retain the red, but not the violet, stain and are called Gram-negative. This technique is named after the Danish bacteriologist Hans C. J. Gram (1853-1938) who invented it in 1884.


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