Frank Mayer:

Cytology and morphogenesis of bacteria

1986. X, 290 pages, 234 figures, 17x24cm, 980 g
Language: English

(Encyclopedia of Plant Anatomy, Band VI Teil 2)

ISBN 978-3-443-14017-5, bound, price: 76.00 €

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English description top ↑

Bacteria are small («micro»-) organisms. They share this property with small higher organisms such as certain algae, fungi, and protozoa. Most of the bacteria exhibit a simple shape, and they are much less well differentiated as compared to other organisms. The term «prokaryote» also used for the bacterial cell indicates that the lack of a distinct membrane-bound nucleus (such a nucleus is typical for all other organisms, the «eukaryotes») is one of the major structural aspects of bacteria. Other structural differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes are evident such as the organization of the genetic material and the cell envelope, the differentiations developed for locomotion, the occurrence of pill and fimbriae for sexual interactions and adherence, respectively, and the mode of cell division. One of the important physiological properties of the eukaryotic cell is lacking in bacteria: they cannot perform endocytosis. Most of these and other characteristic features of bacteria are assumed to be «primitive». Nevertheless, bacteria obviously are very successful organisms, and they constitute a considerable share of the living matter on earth. This may primarily be due to their small dimensions, high rate of reproduction, and physiological and genetic flexibility.

The mere description of cytological properties of bacteria in an inventory manner has not been the aim of this book. Cytological studies play a role in a complex system of investigations finally leading, as is hoped, to the comprehension of all aspects of bacteria. It is in this context that the results of cytological investigations should be considered to be of major importance. As compared to many other groups of organisms, bacteria have been more the subject for detailed studies on functional properties on the macromolecular level. To keep abreast with this development, cytological work has also to be extended to that level. In addition, physiological and genetic research involves experimental approaches often leading, as a side-effect, to changes in bacterial cell structure. A proper documentation of these changes improves the understanding of the experimental results. With this situation in mind, this book has been deviced such that the description of certain cytological facts usually is followed by a section dealing with selected aspects of related function and morphogenesis.

The recent development of new electron microscopic preparation, imaging, and image-evaluation procedures (low-temperature embedding, cryo-techniques, computer averaging) will not only provide tools suited for the correction of wrong views caused by the introduction of artifacts. These methods will also be used for the detection of so far unknown cytological properties of the bacterial cell. The potential of these techniques appears to be enormous. In this book, selected results recently obtained with some of these procedures are described and discussed.

Contents top ↑

Preface V
1. Introduction 1
2. Methods ofinvestigation 2
2.1 Light microscopy 2
2.1.1 Unstained bacterial samples 2
2.1.2 Fixation and staining procedures 2
2.1.3 Immunolabelling techniques 5
2.1.4 Imaging techniques 5
2.2 Electron microscopy 6
2.2.1 Preparation techniques 6
2.2.2 Imaging techniques 10
2.2.3 Image evaluation 12
2.2.4 Cytochemical techniques 13
2.2.5 Autoradiography 16
2.2.6 Immunolabellingtechniques 16
3. The structural concept of the bacterial cell 19
4. Determination of cell shape 23
5. Cytology of the bacterial cell 30
5.1 The cytosol 30
5.2 Cell envelope 31
5.2.1 Generalprinciples 31
5.2.2 Structures and components in the wall of Gram-positive bacteria
as revealed by electron microscopy 32
5.2.3 Structures and components in the wall of Gram-negative bacteria
as revealed by electron microscopy 33
5.2.4 Peptidoglycan: Molecular composition, structure, and
implications for taxonomy 36
5.2.5 Structural and biochemical features specific for Gram-positive
walls 38 Teichoic and teichuronic acids 38 Lipids and waxes 40 Proteins 40 Polysaccharides 41
5.2.6 Structural and biochemical features specific for Gram-negative
walls 42 The periplasmic space or "periplasmic gel" 42 The"intermediatelayer" 44 Lipoprotein 45 The outer membrane 45 Interconnections between envelope layers 47
5.2.7 Regular surface layers present on bacterial walls 48 UltrastructureofS-layers 48 Chemical composition of S-layer subunits 52 Functionalaspects 53
5.3 Capsules, sheaths, and slime 53
5.3.1 Ultrastructural aspects 55
5.3.2 Chemicalcomposition 58
5.3.3 Synthesis,interaction with bacteriophages 59
5.3.4 Functional aspects 59
5.4 The cytoplasmic membrane 62
5.4.1 Structure and components 62
5.4.2 Functional aspects 64
5.5 Intracytoplasmic membranes 67
5.5.1 The"mesosome" 67
5.5.2 Intracytoplasmic membrane systems in photosynthetic bacteria 69
5.5.3 Intracytoplasmic membrane systems in non-photosynthetic bacteria 82
5.6 Inclusion bodies 89
5.6.1 Membrane-enclosed inclusion bodies 89 Chlorosomes 89 Carboxysomes 93 Gas vacuoles 96 Magnetosomes 97 Poly-ß-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) granules 99 Sulfur globules 100 Membrane-enclosed polyglucoside (glycogen) granules 101
5.6.2 Inclusion bodies without a membrane 103 Polyglucoside(glycogen)granules 103 Polyphosphate(volutin,metachromatic)granules 103 Crystals and paracrystalline arrays 104 Cyanophycin (structured) granules 106 Phycobilisomes 106
5.6.3 Intact and defective bacteriophages in bacteria 111
5.6.4 Intracellularrefractilestructures(R-bodies) 113
5.7 The bacterial ribosome 116
5.8 The organisation of the bacterial nucleoid 122
5.9 Non-flagellar bacterial appendages 131
5.9.1 Pili and fimbriae 131 Pili 131 Fimbriae 135
5.9.2 Bacterial spinae 139
5.10 Structural and functional aspects of bacterial motility 141
5.10.1 Bacterial motility mediated by flagella 141 Structural aspects 141 Functional aspects 156
5.10.2 Motility of spirochetes and structurally related bacteria 159
5.10.3 Gliding, and other types of active bacterial locomotion 161
5.11 Bacterial endospores, exospores, cysts, myxospores, and other
persistent states 166
5.12 Bacteria lacking peptidoglycan in their walls 175
5.12.1 Wall-deficient bacteria 175
5.12.2 Bacteriawith cell envelopes racking peptidoglycan 176 Eubacteria 177 Archachacteria 177
6. Cell growth 186
7. General cytological aspects of cell division modes 195
8. Interrelationships between cell growth and division 200
8.1 Special aspects in Gram-positive bacteria 201
8.2 Special aspects in Gram-negative bacteria 207
9. Homologous and heterologous associations involving bacteria 212
9.1 Homologous associations 212
9.2 Heterologous associations (symbiotic bacteria, parasites) 220
References 236
Subject Index 273