Osmotic adaptation by gram-negative bacteria: possible role for periplasmic oligosaccharides

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Jan 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4733, pp. 48-51
DOI: 10.1126/science.3941890


The cyclic (1----2)-beta-D-glucans produced by species of Agrobacterium and Rhizobium resemble the membrane-derived oligosaccharides of Escherichia coli in their periplasmic localization, intermediate size, and (1----2)-beta-D-glucan backbones. The regulation of the biosynthesis of cyclic (1----2)-beta-D-glucan by Agrobacterium tumefaciens is now shown to parallel the osmotic regulation of membrane-derived oligosaccharide biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. This result suggests a general role for periplasmic oligosaccharides in the osmotic adaptation of Gram-negative bacteria as ecologically diverse as enteric and soil bacteria.