A Mechanical Model For Growth And Control of the Cell Wall of Rod-shaped Bacteria

  • John J Thwaites
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 84)


Unlike animal cells, bacteria have no cytoskeleton. Shape maintenance and, to some extent, cell-cycle regulation are governed by the cell wall. The walls of many rod-shaped bacteria are continuously added to on the inside surface, at the cytoplasmic membrane, and continuously depleted at the outer surface by the action of autolytic enzymes. The walls are stretched longitudinally as the cells grow, but the cell diameter and wall thickness remain remarkably constant during normal growth (Trueba and Woldringh, 1980). This also is a regulatory problem, but one that depends heavily on mechanical behaviour.


Bacillus Subtilis Turgor Pressure Teichoic Acid Hoop Direction Wall Growth 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J Thwaites
    • 1
  1. 1.Engineering DepartmentUniversity of CambridgeUK

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