SUMMARY: Cell walls and outer membranes, free of thylakoids and cytoplasmic membranes, were isolated from the unicellular cyanobacterium sp. PCC 6307. Electron microscopy revealed C-shaped cell wall fragments, which were partially converted to outer membrane vesicles after removal of the peptidoglycan by lysozyme digestion. The major constituents of the outer membrane were proteins and lipopolysaccharide, while lipids and carotenoids were minor components. The polypeptide patterns of the outer membranes were dominated by two major proteins ( 52000 and 54000). Five strongly polar lipids (unidentified), free fatty acids and small amounts of sulpholipid were detected in extracts of partially purified cell wall fractions, but monogalactosyldiglyceride and digalactosyldiglyceride were not found. The peptidoglycan layer (10 nm thick) was also isolated. Its chemical composition indicated an Alγ-type structure. The degree of cross-linkage was 57%. A polysaccharide, consisting of fucose, mannose, galactose and glucose, was bound to the peptidoglycan, most likely via muramic acid 6-phosphate.


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