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a spherical bacterium, measuring 0.8 to 3 micrometers in diameter. Sarcinas are gram-positive and nonmotile. They are usually nonsporogenic and nonpathogenic. They reproduce by dividing in three planes into aggregates of cells called cubical packets.
Sarcinas grow well on plain agar, potato pieces, and other nutrient mediums. On solid mediums they form round and smooth colonies that are either colorless or yellow, orange, or red, depending on the presence of the pigment carotene in the cells. These bacteria are widely distributed in nature and are often found in the air because their pigment makes them resistant to the action of sunlight. Several sarcina species inhabit the human stomach; a sporogenic species is known that decomposes urea.