The Sacculus after Four Decades — Seen from Some Distance

  • Uli Schwarz
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 65)


Anthony van Leeuwenhoek, in a letter to the Royal Society, described the little animals he saw in his microscope. In his note he specifically mentioned that these little creatures were bonded by some sort of structure and expressed his hope to resolve the question of what held them together (from Salton, 1960). It was about 200 years later, in 1887, that the first publication appeared on the biochemical properties of a structure which the author Livio Vincenzi, believed to be the cell wall of the “fission yeast” Bacillus subtilis (Vincenzi, L., 1887). It took almost another 70 years until isolated bacterial envelopes and finally the chemically pure shape maintaining structure of the bacterial cell wall, the sacculus, were available for structural and chemical characterization (Review: Salton, M.R.J., 1960)


Bacterial Cell Wall Glycan Chain Diaminopimelic Acid Copying Process Muramic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uli Schwarz
    • 1
  1. 1.Biochemistry DepartmentMax-Planck-Institut für EntwicklungsbiologieTübingenGermany

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