Summary: Lipopolysaccharide-rich vesicles were released from 69V during growth on hexadecane. Vesicle formation occurred over the whole surface of the cell as demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy. In contrast, the surface of acetate-grown cells, for which little lipopolysaccharide was found in the growth medium, appeared smooth. The overall chemical composition as well as the protein and phospholipid composition of the outer membranes of both cell types was very similar. In the vesicles all outer membrane proteins were found with the exception of an 10000 polypeptide corresponding to Braun's lipoprotein. Compared with the outer membrane, the vesicles contained more phosphatidylethanolamine. Hexadecane-grown cells were susceptible to exogenously added phospholipase. Nevertheless the barrier function towards lysozyme was retained.


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