Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 25–35 | Cite as

The demonstration of the existence of an interlayer between the cytoplasmic membrane and the cell wall proper of staphylococci

  • Peter Giesbrecht
  • Jörg Wecke
  • Bernhard Reinicke
  • Bernd Tesche


By disintegration of the cell wall of staphylococci a definite interlayer located between the cytoplasmic membrane and the cell wall proper could be demonstrated for the first time (=MW-interlayer). This MW-interlayer contains a sort of “cloddy” material in which clusters of embedded ring-like disks are hexagonally arranged in a crystal-like manner. The ring-like disks, approximately 40 Å in diameter and with center-to-center spacings of approximately 75 Å, lie in direct contact either with a rhombically arranged fibrillar network of the outer parts of the cytoplasmic membrane or they themselves are part of (or interconnected by) such an apparently rhombical network. The crystal-like arranged ring-like disks of the interlayer between the cytoplasmic membrane and the cell wall shall be called MW-particles in order to differentiate them from intramembrane particles and particles on the outer surface of the cell wall. At present, nothing more than speculation on the function of the MW-particles located within the space where final processes of the cell wall polymerization are taking place is possible.

Key words

staphylococci Cell wall organization Cytoplasmic membrane organization 





external face


protoplasmic face


protoplasmic surface




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Giesbrecht
    • 1
  • Jörg Wecke
    • 1
  • Bernhard Reinicke
    • 1
  • Bernd Tesche
    • 2
  1. 1.Robert Koch-Institut des BundesgesundheitsamtesBerlin 65
  2. 2.Institut für Elektronenmikroskopie des Fritz Haber-Institutes der Max-Planck-GesellschaftBerlin

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