The main difference between gram negative and gram positive bacteria has to do with the arrangement of the outer portions of the cell.

The two illustrations that follow represent cross-sections of the cell wall and cell membrane of gram positive bacteria and gram negative bacteria, respectively.

Gram Positive Bacterium

Gram Negative Bacterium

These diagrams are for educational purposes only, and may not be used elsewhere without written permission from Antimicrobial Test Laboratories.

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