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Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 4;9(1):5164. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07560-9.

Stress-induced formation of cell wall-deficient cells in filamentous actinomycetes.

Author information

1
Molecular Biotechnology, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9505, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands.
2
Biological and Soft Matter Physics, Huygens-Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9504, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands.
3
Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Neunerplatz 2, 97082, Würzburg, Germany.
4
Molecular Biotechnology, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9505, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands. D.Claessen@biology.leidenuniv.nl.

Abstract

The cell wall is a shape-defining structure that envelopes almost all bacteria and protects them from environmental stresses. Bacteria can be forced to grow without a cell wall under certain conditions that interfere with cell wall synthesis, but the relevance of these wall-less cells (known as L-forms) is unclear. Here, we show that several species of filamentous actinomycetes have a natural ability to generate wall-deficient cells in response to hyperosmotic stress, which we call S-cells. This wall-deficient state is transient, as S-cells are able to switch to the normal mycelial mode of growth. However, prolonged exposure of S-cells to hyperosmotic stress yields variants that are able to proliferate indefinitely without their cell wall, similarly to L-forms. We propose that formation of wall-deficient cells in actinomycetes may serve as an adaptation to osmotic stress.

PMID:
30514921
PMCID:
PMC6279842
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-07560-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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