, Volume 194, Issue 10, pp 887-892,
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Date: 08 Jul 2012

Localization of new peptidoglycan at poles in Bacillus mycoides, a member of the Bacillus cereus group

Abstract

Bacillus mycoides is a sporogenic Gram-positive soil bacillus of the B. cereus group. This bacillus, which forms hyphal colonies, is composed of cells connected in filaments that make up bundles and turn clock- or counterclockwise depending on the strain. A thick peptidoglycan wall gives the rod cells of these bacilli strength and shape. One approach used to study peptidoglycan neoformation in Gram positives exploits the binding properties of antibiotics such as vancomycin and ramoplanin to nascent peptidoglycan, whose localization in the cell is monitored by means of a fluorescent tag. When we treated B. mycoides strains with BODIPY-vancomycin, we found the expected accumulation of fluorescence at the midcell septa and localization along the cell sidewall in small foci distributed quite uniformly. Intense fluorescence was also observed at the poles of many cells, more clearly visible at the outer edges of the cell chains. The unusual abundance of peptidoglycan intermediates at the cell poles after cell separation suggests that the construction process of this structure is different from that of B. subtilis, in which the free poles are rarely reactive to vancomycin.

Communicated by Pierre Beguin.