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why will old gram positive cells stain gram negative

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Gram staining is a process used to determine bacteria type. Positive bacteria cells have a thick peptidoglycan layer that absorbs the stain, making the cell purple. Negative bacteria cells have a thin peptidoglycan layer that will not take the stain. As a cell ages, the layer thins. This keeps the positive cells from absorbing the purple stain and results in a false negative.

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