The Structure of the Surface Protein of Thermotoga maritima
Thermotoga maritima has recently been described as an extremely thermophilic eubacterium growing at temperatures as high as 90°C (Huber et al. 1986). According to 16s rRNA sequencing it represents the deepest known branch and the most slowly evolving line within the kingdom of eubacteria (Achenbach-Richter et al. 1987) (Fig.1). Because also most members of the second deepest branch within the eubacteria, the green non-sulphur bacteria, including Thermomicrobium, Chloroflexus and Herpetosiphon (Oyaizu et al. 1987), are thermophilic, the hypothesis has been put forward that the “original eubacteria” were thermophiles (Achenbach-Richter et al. 1987). The cells of Thermotoga maritima are loosely surrounded by a sheath-like envelope which tends to balloon at the cell poles. In this communication we present some results of an as yet rather preliminary analysis of the structure of this outer sheath.
KeywordsOuter Sheath Main Protein Component Cell Envelope Protein Threefold Symmetry Axis Thermo Toga Maritima
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