Morganella morganii
Jon Morgan
Once upon a time, there was a little rod shaped organism named Jon.  Jon has been around for a very long time but wasn't discovered until 1906.  A British bacteriologist named H. de R. Morgan found him when examining infants with diarrhea.  Jon seems to like diarrhea and the intestines of human beings.  That is how he got his name.  All of his microbe buddies made fun of him because he liked to be in the intestines of mammals and would always end up in the john.  So they started calling him Jon.  They 'h' was taken out of his name a long time ago for unknown reasons.

When Jon was discovered, he was unhappy for about sixty years because his official name was Proteus morganii.  Jon knew the whole time that he was different from the other Proteus because he had an inability to ferment carbohydrates.  Proteus and related genus's ferment carbohydrates easily.  He knew that he was closer related to his bud E. coli because they always like to hang out together.  He felt that he deserved his own genus.  It wasn't until 1978 that he got assigned to the genus Morganella.  Ever since then he has been a happy microbe.

Jon has been happy since he got his own genus as long as he lives in a favorable environment.  He likes hospitals a lot because he can get into whoever he wants.  He was what they call an opportunistic secondary invader rather than a primary pathogen.  He just loves swimming in pus and sputa from wound infections or swimming around in an
urinary tract infection.  He is most at home in the intestine, whether it be humans or dogs.

He causes a lot of discomfort to his hosts though.  He thinks it is rather funny because they always try to get rid of him by throwing those wimpy antibiotics at him like penicillin or erythromycin.  Those usually kill his buds, but they don't phase him. One time he got really mad because he thought they had tried to get rid of him with ampocillin, but it was actually carbenicillin, which is bad for his health.  He got away luckily because he outwitted the antibiotic, but he made his host pay.

These days are not very good for Jon.  His favorite environments haven't been too favorable.  Everything is just too clean and he can't infect anyone.  He his thinking about leaving the country because it is the only way he can survive.


0.6-0.7 uM in diameter
1.0-1.7 uM in length
gram negative
facultative anaerobe
urease positive
Indole positive


The Prokaryotes Second Edition: Handbook of the Biology of Bacteria, Ecophysiology, Isolation,  Identification, Applications: Volume III/ edited by Albert Ballows et al......, Springer-Verleg c1992

Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology Volume 1,  Williams and Wilkins c1984



*Disclaimer - This report was written by a student participaring in a microbiology course at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The accuracy of the contents of this report is not guaranteed and it is recommended that you seek additional sources of information to verify the contents.


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