SUMMARY: Hydrolysates of cell-wall preparations of more than 60 strains of corynebacteria, lactobacilli, streptococci, staphylococci and other Gram-positive cocci have been examined by paper chromatography. A very high proportion of the amino acid moiety of the cell-wall complex could in each case be accounted for in terms of 3 or 4 of the amino acids alanine, glutamic acid, lysine, diaminopimelic acid, aspartic acid and glycine. These were associated with varying combinations of sugars and amino sugars. In general, each bacterial genus appears to have a characteristic pattern of cell-wall components, particularly in regard to the amino acids present. Variations in the relative proportions of the sugars appear to differentiate the individual species within a genus. The possible value of cell-wall composition as a taxonomic character is discussed.


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