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From the regulation of peptidoglycan synthesis to bacterial growth and morphology

Lookup NU author(s): Manuel Banzhaf, Professor Waldemar Vollmer


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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. In this Review, we highlight 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. We also discuss 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Typas A, Banzhaf M, Gross CA, Vollmer W

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Reviews Microbiology

Year: 2012

Volume: 10

Issue: 2

Pages: 123-136

Print publication date: 01/02/2012

ISSN (print): 1740-1526

ISSN (electronic):



DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2677