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Membrane lipid composition of obligately and facultatively alkalophilic strains of Bacillus spp.

By S Clejan, T A Krulwich, K R Mondrus and D Seto-Young


The membrane lipids from two obligately and two facultatively alkalophilic strains of Bacillus spp. were characterized in a comparative study that included B. subtilis. Preparations of membrane lipids were made from pH 10.5-grown cells of all of the alkalophiles and from pH 7.5- or 7.0-grown cells of the two facultative strains and B. subtilis. The two obligate alkalophiles contained high ratios of membrane lipid to membrane protein, and the lipid fraction contained a high proportion of neutral lipid. These characteristics are probably not prerequisites for growth at very high pH since one or another of the facultative strains failed to show these properties at high pH. All of the alkalophiles contained appreciable amounts of squalene and C40 isoprenoids. Among the polar lipids, the alkalophiles all contained high concentrations of anionic phospholipids, including phosphatidylglycerol and especially large amounts of cardiolipin; phosphatidylethanolamine was the other major phospholipid. Small amounts of bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate were found in most, but not all, of the alkalophile preparations. Glycolipids and phosphoglycolipids were absent. The fatty acid composition of the total phospholipid and individual fractions revealed two features that distinguished between the obligate and facultative strains. Membranes from the obligately alkalophilic species contained a high concentration of branched-chain fatty acids, comparable to that in membranes from B. subtilis, as well as a relatively high content of unsaturated fatty acids. By contrast, the facultatively alkalophilic strains contained almost no unsaturated fatty acids and a lower concentration of branched-chain fatty acids than either the obligate alkalophiles or B. subtilis

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1986
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.168.1.334-340.1986
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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