How the bacterium got its shape

Peptidoglycan How bacteria grow and divide while retaining a defined shape is a fundamental question in microbiology, but technological advances are now driving a new understanding of how the shape-maintaining bacterial peptidoglycan sacculus grows. This review highlights the relationship between peptidoglycan synthesis complexes and cytoskeletal elements, as well as recent evidence that peptidoglycan growth is regulated from outside the sacculus in Gram-negative bacteria. It also discusses how growth of the sacculus is sensitive to mechanical force and nutritional status, and describe the roles of peptidoglycan hydrolases in generating cell shape and of D-amino acids in sacculus remodelling.


From the regulation of peptidoglycan synthesis to bacterial growth and morphology. (2012) Nature Reviews Microbiology 10: 123-136 doi:10.1038/nrmicro2677

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