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Keywords:

  • bacteria;
  • biosensors;
  • D-amino acids;
  • fluorescent probes;
  • peptidoglycan
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Tracking a bug's life: Peptidoglycan (PG) of diverse bacteria is labeled by exploiting the tolerance of cells for incorporating different non-natural D-amino acids. These nontoxic D-amino acids preferably label the sites of active PG synthesis, thereby enabling fine spatiotemporal tracking of cell-wall dynamics in phylogenetically and morphologically diverse bacteria. HCC=7-hydroxycoumarin, NBD=7-nitrobenzofurazan, TAMRA=carboxytetramethylrhodamine.