About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.
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It's a mordant. It forms an insoluble complex with the primary Gram stain, crystal violet or methylene blue, and helps keep the dye stay put once it has bound to wherever it binds. It probably also adds something to the color, but its main function is to keep the dye fixed to the sample.
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