Anammox planctomycetes have a peptidoglycan cell wall

Muriel C.F. van Teeseling, Rob J. Mesman, Erkin Kuru, Akbar Espaillat, Felipe Cava, Yves V. Brun, Michael S. VanNieuwenhze, Boran Kartal (Corresponding author), Laura van Niftrik

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Planctomycetes are intriguing microorganisms that apparently lack peptidoglycan, a structure that controls the shape and integrity of almost all bacterial cells. Therefore, the planctomycetal cell envelope is considered exceptional and their cell plan uniquely compartmentalized. Anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) Planctomycetes play a key role in the global nitrogen cycle by releasing fixed nitrogen back to the atmosphere as N2. Here using a complementary array of state-of-the-art techniques including continuous culturing, cryo-transmission electron microscopy, peptidoglycan-specific probes and muropeptide analysis, we show that the anammox bacterium Kuenenia stuttgartiensis contains peptidoglycan. On the basis of the thickness, composition and location of peptidoglycan in K. stuttgartiensis, we propose to redefine Planctomycetes as Gram-negative bacteria. Our results demonstrate that Planctomycetes are not an exception to the universal presence of peptidoglycan in bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6878
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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