Chemical analysis of isolated cell walls of Gram-positive bacteria and the determination of the cell wall to cell mass ratio.

A. van der Wal, W. Norde, B. Bendinger, A.J.B. Zehnder, J. Lyklema

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    Abstract

    Cell walls of five Gram-positive bacterial strains, including four coryneforms and a Bacillus brevis strain were isolated and subsequently chemically analysed. The wall contribution to the total cell mass is calculated from a comparison of D-Lactate concentrations in hydrolysates of whole cells and isolated walls. D-Lactate concentrations are measured enzymatically after purification of the samples with active carbon. The optimum condition for the quantitative elimination of D-lactate from the peptidoglycan appears to be at 120°C and 4 M HCl. The wall fraction for the cells of the coryneform bacteria are in the range of 26-32% and is about 75% for the B. brevis cells. The peptidoglycan fraction in the walls of the coryneform bacteria was found to be rather high and constitutes about 23 to 31% of the cell wall dry weight. The protein content of the cell wall dry weight is somewhat lower and in the range of 7 to 14%. The peptidoglycan in the wall of the B. brevis strain forms a thin layer and contributes only about 5% to the cell wall dry weight. The high amount of proteins in the B. brevis cell wall (> 56%) can be attributed to a so called S(urface)layer.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-157
    JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

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