Publication details

Twenty-five years on experience on S-layers of cyanobacteria: occurrence and patterns.



Year of publication 1997
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source FEMS Microbiol.Rev.
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Field Microbiology, virology
Description S-layers are now considered a common cell wall structure in Bacteria and Archaea as well as in some algae. Morphological and chemical studies have revealed that S-layers consist of crystalline arrays of protein or glycoprotein subunits forming oblique, square or hexagonal lattices on the cell surface. Electron microscopy and computer image enhancement techniques have been applied to obtain structural information down to the nanometer range. This chapter deals with the wide distribution of S-layer among cyanobacteria, and their morphological and chemical characterization, and the potential of high resolution electron microscopic studies applied to the cell envelope of Pyrodictium. The occurrence of S-layers in cyanobacteria was investigated by cryomethods and ultrathin sectioning. These investigations indicate that the ultrastructure of S-layers may be exploited as an auxiliary taxonomic criterion in the classification of cyanobacteria. Pyrodictium is the first organism which has shown an optimum growth temperature above 100oC. The highly irregularly shaped, flagellated cells are interconnected by extracellular tubules. The three- dimensional structure of this network was visualized with high resolution scanning electron microscopy while the fine structure of the cell wall architecture was studied in detail with various electron microscopic techniques. Both contributions demonstrate that the investigation of the fine structure of S-layers is fundamental for establishing structure-function relationships for these two-dimensional crystalline arrays

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