Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 149, Issue 3, pp 255–260 | Cite as

The budding bacteria, Pirellula and Planctomyces, with atypical 16S rRNA and absence of peptidoglycan, show eubacterial phospholipids and uniquely high proportions of long chain beta-hydroxy fatty acids in the lipopolysaccharide lipid A

  • B. D. Kerger
  • C. A. Mancuso
  • P. D. Nichols
  • D. C. White
  • T. Langworthy
  • M. Sittig
  • H. Schlesner
  • P. Hirsch
Original Papers


Fatty acids of twelve strains of budding bacteria (Planctomyces and Pirellula spp.), which have atypical 16S rRNA and do not contain peptidoglycan cell walls, were shown to contain typical diacyl polar lipids with no indication of isoprenoid ether lipids suggestive of a relationship with the archaebacteria. The major ester-linked fatty acids of the phospholipids were palmitic, palmitoleic and oleic acids, which are more typical of microeukaryotes than of eubacteria. Lipopolysaccharide lipid A (LPS) was detected; it contained major proportions of long chain normal 3-OH fatty acids (3-OH eicosanoic at 23% and 17% of the total in two strains of Planctomyces, and 3-OH octadecanoic at 18%, and 3-OH palmitic at 11% of the total in one strain of Pirellula). Major portions of long chain 3-OH fatty acids in the LPS are extremely unusual and provide another atypical property of these organisms. Each strain investigated showed a specific total fatty acid composition, reflecting the diversity in 16S rRNA nucleotide catalogues.

Key words

Fatty acid composition Pirellula Planctomyces Non-prosthecate, budding bacteria Phylogeny of eubacteria Lipids Fatty acids Lipopolysaccharides 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. D. Kerger
    • 1
  • C. A. Mancuso
    • 1
  • P. D. Nichols
    • 2
  • D. C. White
    • 3
  • T. Langworthy
    • 4
  • M. Sittig
    • 5
  • H. Schlesner
    • 5
  • P. Hirsch
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Biological ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Marine LaboratoriesCSIRO Division of OceanographyHobartAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Applied MicrobiologyKnoxvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology, School of MedicineThe University of South DakotaVermillionUSA
  5. 5.Institut für Allgemeine MikrobiologieUniversität KielKielFederal Republic of Germany

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