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Colony formation starts with one microorganism, such as a bacterium. This one microorganism undergoes cell division, and, depending on the environment, can be influenced in its growth and development by several factors. The nature of the solid surface is an important factor, as it can influence nutrient distribution. The type of medium used would be another factor worthy of mention, as some media are more conducive towards some types of microorganisms as opposed to others. The type of medium used can influence color, shape, and texture of the microorganism. A wet or dry environment can influence the distribution of microorganisms, as well as influence the distribution of nutrients important to microorganism development. Communication between individual colony members is also a contributing factor. This is known as "cross-talk", and has been demonstrated among microorganisms in nutrient-poor surface areas.
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