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Analysis of autolysins in temperature-sensitive morphological mutants of Bacillus subtilis.

By W C Brown, C R Wilson, S Lukehart, F E Young and M A Shiflett


The content and distribution of autolysin were measured in temperature-sensitive morphological mutants of Bacillus subtilis. Strains RUB1000 and RUB1012 grew as rods at 30 C. At 45 C the mutants contained disproportionately less teichoic acid than peptidoglycan and grew as irregular spheres. The amount of enzyme that could be extracted from rods was at least 31 times the amount extracted from spheres. The rate of autolysis of cell walls was 7- to 28-fold greater in rods than in spheres. The low activity found associated with the cell walls of spheres was not compensated for by larger amounts of autolytic activity in the cytoplasm. No activity was found in the growth medium at either temperature. The failure of the mutant cells to autolyze was due to low amidase activity and relatively resistant cell walls. Revertants of RUB1012 were isolated that had 13, 23, and 55% of the normal proportions of teichoic acid when grown at the nonpermissive temperature. Cell walls from the revertants were as sensitive to added amidase as the wild-type strain. None of the revertant strains regained the wild-type ability to produce more amidase at 45 C. However, the deficiency in autolysin observed with RUB1012 was partially restored in revertants containing higher proportions of teichoic acid

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1976
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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