Makomed's Weblog

Gram’s Stain

Posted on: May 30, 2005

Here’s a simple breakdown:

1) Slide

2) Violet

3) Iodine

4) Alcohol

5) Counterstain…

“Is it Purple?”

“Yes”: Gram Positive Bacteria

“No”: Gram Negative Bacteria (instead, the color stays red)

Def: “method for the differential staining of bacteria that involves fixing bacterial cells to a slide & staining with basic dye (crystal violet), treating with an iodine solution to fix the dye, washing with acetone or alcohol to decolorize dye, and counterstaining usually with a red safranine dye which shows up only if the crystal violet has been decolorized, that results in GramPos bacteria — (retaining purple dye) and GramNeg organisms having it decolorized so that red counterstain shows up, and that is believed to depend on the differences of structure & composition of bacterial cell walls which facilitate or prevent discoloration of crystal violet dye by alcohol or acetone. Also called Gram’s Method.” (www.dictionary.com)

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