Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Felipe GomezEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1165-2


Peptidoglycan is a polymer with a structural role in the bacterial cell wall. It is a barrier that provides structural strength to the bacteria. It is made of polysaccharides attached to oligopeptides in linear chains ( N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylmuramic acid alternating with cross-linked oligopeptides (no more than five amino acids)). The oligopeptides are attached to N-acetylmuramic acid. Due to the cross-linked oligopeptide, it constitutes a 3D structural layer, which is thicker in the case of Gram-positive bacteria (Fig. 1).


Cell Wall Bacterial Cell Bioorganic Chemistry Structural Layer Linear Chain 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC/INTA)Instituto Nacional de Técnica AeroespacialTorrejón de ArdozSpain