Bacillus subtilis, normally a rod-shaped organism, can grow in the form of a helix with pitch ranging over a spectrum from tight right-handed to tight left-handed depending upon the growth environment and genetic composition of the strain. Five factors have been identified which contribute either to the helical shape deformation or its maintenance: 1) a biomechanical component involving blocked rotation during growth; 2) cell wall polymer conformation; 3) a protein(s) concerned with the left-hand form produced at high temperature; 4) electrostatic aspects of the cell wall; and 5) water, as it affects the mechanical properties of cell walls and the structure of cell wall polymers. The findings are compatible with a model in which the cell wall polymers are inserted in helical orientation along the cylindrical portion of the cell during growth.
- Bacillus subtilis, Macrofibre, Bacterial morphogenesis
- Bacillus subtilis, Macrofibre, Morphogenèse bactérienne
- Helix, Polymer, Mechanics
- Hélice, Polymères, Mécanique
ASJC Scopus subject areas