The sporulation of Bacillus subtilis can be induced in the presence of amino acids and glucose by partially depriving the cells of guanine nucleotides. This can be achieved, e.g., by the addition of decoyinine, a specific inhibitor of GMP synthetase. To determine the effect of this and other inhibitors on cell wall synthesis, we measured in their presence the incorporation of acetylglucosamine into acid-precipitable material. The rate of wall synthesis decreased by 50% within 5 min after decoyinine addition; this decrease was prevented by the presence of guanosine. A comparison with the effects of other inhibitors of cell wall synthesis indicated that decoyinine inhibited the final portion of the cell wall biosynthetic pathway, i.e., after the steps inhibited by bacitracin or vancomycin. Decoyinine addition also prevented cellular autolysis and cell wall turnover. It is not known whether these two effects of decoyinine on cell wall synthesis are causally related
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