Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Staining Techniques
Name: Latasha
Status: Student
Grade:  Other
Location: VA
Country: United States
Date: Spring 2010


Question:
Why is the Gram stain technique more valuable than the simple stain technique in the diagnostic laboratory? Under what circumstances might the simple stain be preferable to the Gram stain technique?



Replies:
The gram stain has two dyes. There are two types of bacterial cell walls-gram positive which is very thick and gram negative which isn't as thick. The gram positive wall holds onto crystal violet for longer than gram negative which can be destained. Then the gram negative are counterstained with a second dye. This allows you to break all bacteria down into two basic groups and allows to begin the identification process. Simple staining only uses one dye. If all you want to know is what shape the bacteria is or if there is bacteria at all, a simple stain is quicker to do.

vanhoeck



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory