Seminar-Evolution of the bacterial outer membrane
presents a seminar by:
The outer membrane (OM) of bacteria is the first line of defense against the environment and provides protection against toxic compounds such as antibiotics. In addition, it can elicit a strong host immunogenic response. Yet, little is known about the origin and evolution of the OM. Our studies on sporulating Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria using electron cryotomography, phylogenetic analyses and biochemical approaches reveal extensive peptidoglycan and membrane remodeling during sporulation. Furthermore, we show that an ancient sporulation-like event may have given rise to the OM in bacteria and that subsequent loss-of-function events led to the diversity of modern bacterial cell plans. Increased knowledge of the biology and biogenesis of the OM will facilitate the development of antimicrobials for antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.
The Department of Microbiology and Immunology