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aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (0.5 × 3–15 micrometers); most species, unlike true bacteria (Eubacteriales), have a nucleus that is readily stained with basic dyes without preliminary hydrolysis of the cells with hydrochloric acid. Myxobacterales multiply by binary, transverse fission. Myxobacteria are motile but do not have flagella. Movement occurs only in contact with solid surfaces and results from the secretion of slime. Flat, slimy colonies may move over a solid surface. In older cultures of the bacteria, the cells become converted into spherical structures (microcysts) that accumulate into fruiting bodies (up to 0.5–1.5 mm) of different shapes. Fruiting bodies may be yellow, orange, green, or some other color. Myxobacterales occur in soil, dung, and plant residues and contribute to their aerobic breakdown.
A. A. IMSHENETSKII