Structure and Functions of Mesosomes of Gram Positive Bacteria

  • Antoinette Ryter
Conference paper
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 49)


The most striking features which appeared on sections when bacteria were examined for the first time with the electron microscope fifteen years ago, were the high electron density of the cytoplasm and the lack of organelles. Thus, the usual structures and organelles apparent in thin sections of higher cells such as nuclear membrane, mitotic apparatus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and golgi apparatus seemed to be absent in bacteria, although it was obvious they must have an organized electron transport system and a mechanism for ensuring equipartition of genetic material during division.


Membrane Fraction Listeria Monocytogenes Positive Bacterium Nuclear Function Subtilis Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, M. M.: Photosynthetic membrane-system in Anacystis nidulans. J. Bact. 96, 836–841 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Aronson, J. N., P. A. Bowe, and J. Swafford: Mesosomes in m-Tyrosine inhibited B. thurigiensis. J. Bact. 93, 1174–1175 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrnett, R. J., and G. E. Palade: Histochemical demonstration of the sites of activity of dehydrogenase systems with the electron microscope. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 3, 577–588 (1957).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bladen, H. A., M. V. Nylen, and R. J. Fitzgerald: Internal structures of a Eu-bacterium sp. demonstrated by the negative staining technique. J. Bact. 88, 763–770 (1964).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Blecking, J. H., W. E. de Boer, and A. L. Houwink: Electron microscopy of the endophyte of Alnus glutinosa. Antonie v. Leeuwenhoek 30, 343–376 (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen-Bazire, G., and R. Kunisawa: The fine structure of Rho do spirillum rubrum. J. Cell Biol. 16, 401–419 (1963).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen-Bazire, G., R. Kunisawa and J. S. Poindexter: The internal membranes of Caulobacter crescentus. J. gen. Microbiol. 42, 301–308 (1966).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Conti, S. F., N. J. Jacobs, and C. T. Gray: Ultrastructure and respiratory capacity of staphylococcus and bacillus grown under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. J. Bact. 96, 554–556 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cota-Robles, E. H.: Internal membrane in cells of E. coli. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 16, 626–639 (1966).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Drews, G., u. P. Giesbrecht: Die Thylakoidstrukturen von Rhodopseudomonas sp. Arch. Mikrobiol. 52, 242–250 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Edwards, M. R., and M.H. Gordon: Membrane system of Actinomyces bovis. Fifth Int. Congr. Electr. Microsc. 2, UU-3 (1962), Philadelphia, New York and London: Acad. Press.Google Scholar
  12. Edwards, M. R., and R.W. Stevens: Fine structure of Listeria monocytogenes. J. Bact. 86, 414–428 (1963).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellar, D. J., D. G. Lundgren, and R. A. Slepecky: Fine structure of B. megaterium during synchronous growth. J. Bact. 94, 1189–1205 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Ferrandes, B., P. Chaix, and A. Ryter: Localisation des cytochromes de B. subtilis dans les structures mésosomiques. C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 263, 1632–1635 (1966).Google Scholar
  15. Ferrandes, B., C. Frehel, A. Ryter, and P. Chaix: In preparation.Google Scholar
  16. Fitz-James, P.C.: Participation of the cytoplasmic membrane in the growth and the spore formation of bacilli. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 8, 507–528 (1960).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fitz-James, P. C.: Fate of the mesosomes of Bacillus megaterium during proto-plasting. J. Bact. 87, 1483–1491 (1964).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Fitz-James, P. C.: A functional and structural comparison of separated fractions of mesosomes and plasmamembrane of bacteria. Protides of Biological Fluids, vol. 15, p. 289–301. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publ. Co. 1967.Google Scholar
  19. Fitz-James, P. C.: The collection of mesosome vesicles extruded during protoplasting. Microbial protoplasts, spheroplasts and L-forms, p. 124–143, ed. L. Guze. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co. 1968.Google Scholar
  20. Frehel, C., A. Ryter, B. Ferrandes et P. Chaix: Localisation de deshydrogenases chez B. subtilis. Fourth Eur. Conf. El. Microsc, p. 441–442. Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana 1968.Google Scholar
  21. Fuhs, G. W.: Fine structure and replication of bacterial nucleoids. Bact. Rev. 29, 277–298 (1965).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ganesan, A. T., and J. Lederberg: A cell-membrane bound fraction of bacterial DNA. J. biochem. biophys. Res. Com. 18, 824–835 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gel’man, N. S., M. E. Lukoyanowa, and D. N. Ostrovski: Respiration and phosphorylation of bacteria. New York: Plenum Press 1967.Google Scholar
  24. Ghosh, B. K., and R. G. E. Murray: Fine structure of Listeria monocytogenes in relation to protoplast formation. J. Bact. 93, 411–426 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Ghosh, B. K., M. G. Sargent, and J. O. Lampen: Morphological phenomena associated with penicillinase induction and secretion in B. licheniformis. J. Bact. 96, 1314–1328 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Gibbs, S. P., W. R. Sistrom, and P. B. Worden: The photosynthetic apparatus of Rhodospirillum molischianum. J. Cell Biol. 26, 395–412 (1965).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Giesbrecht, P.: Über organisierte Mitochondrien und andere Feinstrukturen von B. megaterium. Zbl. Bakt., 179, 538–582 (1960).Google Scholar
  28. Giesbrecht, P., u. H. Ruska: Über Veränderungen der Feinstrukturen von Bakterien unter der Einwirkung von Chloramphenicol. Klin. Wschr. 46, 575–582 (1968).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Glauert, A. M.: The fine structure of bacteria. Brit. med. Bull. 18, 245–250 (1962).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Glauert, A. M., and D. A. Hopwood: A membrane component of the cytoplasm in Streptomyces coelicolor. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 6, 515–516 (1959).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Glauert, A. M., and D. A. Hopwood: The fine structure of Streptomyces coelicolor. I. The cytoplasmic membrane system. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 7, 479–488 (1960).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hickman, and A. W. Frenkel: The structure of Rhodospirillum rubrum. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 6, 277–284 (1959).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hickman, D. D., and A. W. Frenkel: Observations on the structure of Rhodospirillum rubrum. J. Cell Biol. 25, 261–278 (1965).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Imadea, T., and M. Ogura: Formation of intracytoplasmic membrane system of mycobacteria related to cell division. J. Bact. 85, 150–163 (1963).Google Scholar
  35. Iterson, W. van: Some features of a remarkable organelle in B. subtilis. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 9, 183–192 (1961).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Iterson, W. van: Membranous structures in microorganisms. In: Recent progress in microbiology. VII. Int. Congr. Microbiol., p. 14–37, University of Toronto Press 1962.Google Scholar
  37. Iterson, W. van: Bacterial cytoplasm. Bact. Rev. 29, 299–325 (1965).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Iterson, W. van, and W. Leene: A cytochemical localization of reductive sites in a Gram positive bacterium. J. Cell Biol. 20, 361–375 (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jacob, F., S. Brenner, and F. Cuzin: On the regulation of DNA replication in bacteria. Cold Spr. Harb. Symp. quant. Biol. 28, 329–348 (1963).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kakefuda, T., J. T. Holden, and N. M. Utech: Ultrastructure of the membrane system in Lactobacillus plantorum. J. Bact. 93, 472–482 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Kawata, T., and T. Inoue: Reduction sites of tellurite and tetrazolium salts in Listeria monocytogenes. J. gen. appl. Microbiol. 11, 115–128 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kawata, T., T. Sall, and S. Mudd: Spheroidal forms of B. megaterium induced by potassium tellurite. J. Bact. 79, 459 (1960).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Kellenberger, E., and A. Ryter: In Bacteriology. In: The modern development in electron microscopy, ed. Siegel, p. 235–393, New York and London: Acad. Press. 1964.Google Scholar
  44. Kohiyama, J., D. Cousin, A. Ryter, et F. Jacob: Mutants thermosensibles de E. coli Kl 2. I. Isolement et caractérisation rapide. Ann. Inst. Pasteur 110, 465–486 (1966).Google Scholar
  45. Koike, M., and K. Takeya: Fine structure of intracytoplasmic organelles of mycobacteria. J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 9, 597–608 (1961).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Landman, O., A. Ryter, and C. Frehel: Gelatin-induced reversion of protoplasts of B. subtilis to the bacillary form: Electron microscopic and physical study. J. Bact. 96, 2154–2170 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Lark, K. G., O. Maaløe, and O. Rostock: Cytological studies of nuclear division in Salmonella typhimurium. J. gen. Microbiol. 13, 318–329 (1955).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Leene, W., and W. van Iterson: Tetranitro-blue-tetrazolium reduction in B. subtilis. J. Cell Biol. 27, 237–241 (1965).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Linnane, A. W., E. Vitols, and P. G. Nowland: Studies on the origin of yeast mitochondria. J. Cell Biol. 13, 345–350 (1962).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lukins, H. B., S. H. Tham, P.G. Wallace, and A. W. Linnane: Correlation of membrane bound succinate dehydrogenase with the occurrence of mitochondrial profiles in Saccharomyces cervisiae. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 23, 363–367 (1966).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mason, D. J., and D. M. Pawelson: Nuclear division as observed in live bacteria by a new technique. J. Bact. 71, 474–479 (1956).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Mudd, S., T. Kawata, J. I. Payne, T. Sall, and A. Takagi: Plasma membranes and mitochondrial equivalents as functionally coordinated structures. Nature (Lond.) 189, 79–80 (1961).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Murray, R. G. E., and S. W. Watson: Structure of Nitrocystis oceanus and comparison with Nitrosomonas and Citrobacter. J. Bact. 89, 1594–1609 (1965).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Nachlas, M. M., S. I. Margulier, and A. M. Seligman: Sites of electron transfer to tetrazolium salts in the succino-oxidase system. J. biol. Chem. 235, 2739–2743 (1960).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Nanninga, N.: Mesosomes and plasma membranes in B. subtilis after application of the freeze-etching technique. Fourth Europ. Reg. Conf. El. Micr., p. 443–444. Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana 1968.Google Scholar
  56. Nermut, M. V.: Contribution à l’étude des points d’oxydo-réduction dans la cellule bactérienne. C. R. Soc. Biol. (Paris) 154, 1338–1339 (1960).Google Scholar
  57. Ohye, D. F., and W. G. Murrell: Formation and structure of the spore of B. coagulans. J. Cell Biol. 14, 111–123 (1962).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Op den Kampf, J. A. F., W. van Iterson, and L. L. M. van Deenen: Studies on the phospholipids and morphology of protoplasts of B. megaterium. Biochim. biophys. Acta (Amst.) 135, 862–884 (1967).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Patch, C.T.: The comparative biochemistry of membranes from B. subtilis. Thesis of Georgetown University, 1968.Google Scholar
  60. Petitprez, A., P. Roos et A. Tacquet: Aspect ultrastructural de Mycobacterium phlei. J. Microsc. 6, 229–232 (1967).Google Scholar
  61. Pfennig, N., and G. Cohen-Bazyre: Some properties of the green bacterium Pelodictyon cathratiforme. Arch. Mikrobiol. 59, 226–236 (1967).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Poindexter, J., L. Stove, and G. Cohen-Bazire: The fine structure of stalked bacteria belonging to the family caulobacteriaceae. J. Cell Biol. 23, 587–607 (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Reaveley, D. A.: The isolation and characterization of cytoplasmic membranes and mesosomes of B. licheniformis S 6346. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 30, 649–655 (1968).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Remsen, C. C.: Fine structure of the mesosome and nucleoid in frozen-etched B. subtilis. Arch. Mikrobiol. 61, 40–47 (1968).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Remsen, C. C., F. W. Valois, and S.W. Watson: Fine structure of the cytomembrane of Nitrocystis oceanus. J. Bact. 94, 422–433 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Remsen, C. C., S. W. Watson, J. B. Waterbury, and H. G. Truger: Fine structure of Ecto-thiorhodospira mobilis Pelsh. J. Bact. 95, 2374–2392 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Robinow, C. F.: The chromatin bodies of bacteria. Bact. Rev. 20, 207–242 (1956).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Robinow, C. F.: Morphology of the bacterial nucleus. Brit. med. Bull. 18, 31–35 (1962).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Robinow, C. F.: Outline of the visible organization of bacteria. In: The cell, vol. IV, p. 45–108, ed. Brächet and Mirsky. New York: Acad. Press 1963.Google Scholar
  70. Rogers, H. J., D. A. Reaveley, and I. Burdett: The membrane system of B. licheniformis. Protides of biological fluids, vol.15, P 303–313. Amsterdam: Elsevier 1967.Google Scholar
  71. Ryter, A.: Evidence morphologique d’une liaison entre le noyau et la membrane cytoplasmique chez B. subtilis. In: Mécanisme de régulation des activités cellulaires chez les microorganismes, p. 163–164. Marseille: C. N. R. S. 1963.Google Scholar
  72. Ryter, A.: Relation between the membrane synthesis and the nuclear segregation in B. subtilis. Folia microbiol. 12, 283–290 (1967).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Ryter, A.: Association of the nucleus and the membrane of bacteria: a morphological study. Bact. Rev. 32, 39–54 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Ryter, A., C. Frehel et B. Ferrandes: Comportement des mésosomes lors de l’attaque de B. subtilis par le lysozyme en milieu hypo- et hypertonique. C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 265, 1259–1262 (1967).Google Scholar
  75. Ryter, A., et F. Jacob: Etude au microscope électronique de la liaison entre le noyau et la membrane chez B. subtilis. Ann. Inst. Pasteur 107, 389–400 (1964).Google Scholar
  76. Ryter, A., et F. Jacob: Etude morphologique de la liaison du noyau à la membrane chez E. coli et chez les protoplastes de B. subtilis. Ann. Inst. Pasteur 110, 801–812 (1966).Google Scholar
  77. Ryter, A., et E. Kellenberger: Etude au microscope électronique du plasma contenant de l’ADN. I. Les nucleoids de bactéries en croissance exponentielle. Z. Natur- forsch. 13, 597–605 (1958).Google Scholar
  78. Ryter, A., and O. Landman: An electron microscope study of the relationship between mesosome loss and the stable L-state (or protoplast state) in Bacillus subtilis. J. Bact. 88, 457–467 (1964).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. Ryter, A., and O. Landman: Morphological study of the attachment of nucleoid to membrane in Bacilli protoplasts and reverting protoplast of B. subtilis. In: Microbial protoplasts, spheroplasts and L-forms, p. 110–123. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co. 1967.Google Scholar
  80. Salton, M. R. J.: Structure and functions of bacterial cell membranes. Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 21, 417–442 (1967).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Sargent, M. G., B. K. Ghosh, and J. O. Lampen: Localization of cell-bound Penicillinase in B. licheniformis. J. Bact. 96, 1329–1338 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Schnaitman, C., and J. W. Greenwalt: Intracytoplasmic membranes in E. coli. J. Bact. 92, 780–783 (1966).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. Sedar, A. W., and R. M. Bürde: The demonstration of the succinic dehydrogenase system in B. subtilis using tetranitro-blue-tetrazolium combined with techniques of electron microscopy. J. Cell Biol. 27, 53–66 (1965).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Shinohara, C., K. Fukushi, and I. Suzuki: Mitochondria like structures in ultra-thin sections of Mycobacterium avium. J. Bact. 74, 413–415 (1957).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Steed, P., and G. E. Murray: The cell wall and cell division of Gram negative bacteria. J. Microbiol. 12, 263–270 (1966).Google Scholar
  86. N., and W. Quinn: Membrane attachment of the chromosome replication origin in B. subtilis. Cold Spr. Harb. Symp. quant. Biol. (1968) (in press).Google Scholar
  87. Takagi, A., O. Abe, and M. Ueda: Reduction sites of tetrazolium salts and tellurite in Clostridium botulis and Clostridium tetani. J. gen. appl. Microbiol. 11, 221–231 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Takagi, A., K. Ueyama, and M. Ueda: Reduction of tetrazolium salts in Fuso-bacterium poly morphum. J. gen. appl. Microbiol. 9, 287–298 (1963).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Tomasz, A., J. D. Jamieson, and E. Ottolenghi: The fine structure of Diplococcus pneumoniae. J. Cell Biol. 22, 453–467 (1964).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Tremblay, G. Y., et A. Niveleau: Mise en évidence d’un complexe DNA-RNA ribosomes isolé de la bactérie. Fourth Eur. Conf. Electr. Microsc, vol. II, p. 97–98. Rome: Tipografía Boliglotta Vaticana 1968.Google Scholar
  91. Vanderwinkel, E., et R. G. E. Murray: Organelles intracytoplasmiques bactériennes et site d’activité oxydoréductrice. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 7, 485–199 (1962).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Weibull, C.: Plasmolysis in B. megaterium. J. Bact. 89, 1151–1154 (1965).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  93. Weibull, C., and 27. Strauer BE (1979b) Ventricular function and coronary hemodynamics in hypertensive heart disease. Amer J Cardiol 44:999: Metabolie properties of some L-forms derived from Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. J. Bact. 89, 1443–1447 (1965).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  94. Yamaguchi, J., F. Ariji, and K. Fukushi: Electron microscopy localization of enzymes in Mycobacterium. Fourth Int. Congr. Electr. Microsc., p. 249–250. Tokyo: R. Vyeda, Maruzen Co. 1966.Google Scholar
  95. Zwillenberg, L. O.: Electron microscopic features of Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria in phosphotungstate. Antonie v. Leuuwenhoek J. Microbiol. Ser. 30, 154–162 (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoinette Ryter
    • 1
  1. 1.Services de Photomicrographie et de Génétique cellulaireInstitut PasteurFrance

Personalised recommendations