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E. coli is easy to grow in the lab. It has a volume around $0.6 \mu m^3$. Source

T. namibiensis can be much larger, with a volume on the order of ${10^6}\mu m^3$. Source

However, T. namibiensis is not easily cultured. Source

So, the question: what's the largest bacterium (or failing that, a large one) that can be cultured under standard lab conditions? Let's define 'standard lab conditions' as growing with a doubling time of <48h between 25C and 50C in a liquid media with normal oxygen.

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  • $\begingroup$ It all depends on what you mean by standard lab conditions and largest - length, width, volume, genome size?. There are lots of bacteria that grow at odd conditions (e.g. anaerobic), but are perfectly easy to grow under those conditions. Try the spirochetes as examples. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Commented Jun 18 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ Good point. Let's say: can grow with a doubling time of <48h between 25C and 50C in a liquid media with normal oxygen. And measuring largest by volume. Is there a spirochete that fits the bill here? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ It would be a good idea to add those conditions to the question. Not sure on spirochetes doubling time, and I think anaerobic from memory. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Commented Jun 18 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ You’ve put a bounty on this so I’ll have to wait to vote to close, but it’s a “Guinness Book of Records” question quite unsuited to this site and of no interest to professional biologists. There are microorganisms which one would have much more interest in culturing where the problem is far more subtle than size. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented 12 hours ago

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