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J Bacteriol. 1982 Mar;149(3):977-84.

Cell wall turnover in growing and nongrowing cultures of Bacillus subtilis.


Cell wall turnover was studied in cultures of Bacillus subtilis in which growth was inhibited by nutrient starvation or by the addition of antibiotics. Concomitantly, the synthesis of wall, as measured by the incorporation of radioactively labeled N-acetylglucosamine, was followed in some of these cultures. In potassium- or phosphate-starved cultures, growth stopped, but wall turnover continued at a rate slightly lower than that in the control cultures. Lysis of cells did not occur. In glucose-starved cultures, continued wall turnover caused lysis of cells, since wall synthesis apparently was inhibited. The same phenomenon was observed after growth arrest by the addition of wall synthesis inhibitors such as fosfomycin, cycloserine, penicillin G, and vancomycin. Growth arrest by the addition of chloramphenicol allowed the continuation of wall synthesis; therefore, the observed turnover generally did not cause cell lysis.

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