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J Bacteriol. Oct 1978; 136(1): 280–285.
PMCID: PMC218658

Cell envelope and shape of Escherichia coli: multiple mutants missing the outer membrane lipoprotein and other major outer membrane proteins.


Starting with an Escherichia coli strain missing the outer membrane lipoprotein, multiple mutants were constructed than in addition to this defect miss the outer membrane proteins II, Ia and Ib, or Ia, Ib, and II. In contrast to all single mutants or strains missing the lipoprotein and polypeptides Ia and Ib, drastic influences on the integrity of the outer membrane and cell morphology were observed in mutants without lipoprotein and protein II. Such strains exhibited spherical morphology. They required increased concentrations of electrolytes for optimal growth, and Mg2+ or Ca2+ were the most efficient. These mutants were sensitive to hydrophobic antibiotics and detergents. Electron microscopy revealed abundant blebbing of the outer membrane, and it could clearly be seen that the murein layer was no longer associated with the outer membrane.

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Selected References

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