Gram Staining, An Essential Staining Technique Essay

1668 Words Feb 7th, 2016 null Page
Introduction:
Gram staining is an essential staining technique used in microbiology. This type of staining falls under the differential staining category, as it distinguishes between two types of bacteria. Gram staining originated from Christian Gram (1). The discovery of this technique originated from Gram’s examination of lung tissue from patients who died of pneumonia. He was fascinated by differences between the ability of types of bacteria’s to uptake stain (2). Yet, the technique that he created was not the finalized version of the gram staining technique that is used today. Later on, Carl Weigert added the final step of the gram staining process. Weigert incorporated the step involving the counterstaining of bacteria with Safranin (3). Currently, the gram staining technique is used to distinguish the characteristics of bacteria.
In this experiment, gram staining was used to compare the composition of the cell walls of two types of bacteria. The two types of bacteria being compared were gram-negative and gram-positive. Gram- negative bacteria and gram-positive bacteria differ based on the amount of peptidoglycan within their cell walls. Peptidoglycan is a polymer composed of sugars and amino acids. The appearance of peptidoglycan is a defining characteristic within the domain of bacteria. It contributes to the durability and structure of bacterial cells, and plays an important role in cell division and growth (4). Gram-negative bacteria contain a thin layer of…

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