Spherical bacterium. Many species have characteristic arrangements that are useful in identification. Pairs of cocci are called diplococci; rows or chains, streptococci (see streptococcus); grapelike clusters, staphylococci (see staphylococcus); packets of eight or more cells, sarcinae; and groups of four cells in a square arrangement, tetrads. These characteristic groupings occur as a result of variations in the reproduction process.
Learn more about coccus with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Cocci (singular - coccus, from the Latin coccinus (scarlet) and derived from the Greek kokkos (berry) ) are any microorganism (usually bacteria) whose overall shape is spherical or nearly spherical. Describing a bacterium as a coccus, or sphere, distinguishes it from bacillus, or rod. This is the first of many taxonomic traits for identifying and classifying a bacterium according to binomial nomenclature.
Chronic Inflammation: The Hidden Condition Is Linked to Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer: But Certain Lifestyle Modifications Will Help Reduce Your Risks
May 01, 2013; Chronic systemic inflammation has been called the "silent epidemic," and evidence suggests that it may be at the root of a number...
Learn to Identify Early-Stage, Non-Motor Parkinson's Symptoms: Sleep Disorders, Constipation, and Fatigue Are among the Symptoms That May Appear in Early Parkinson's Disease
May 01, 2013; Though Parkinson's disease (PD) is usually thought of as a movement disorder, a recent study found that, even in the earliest...