In Situ Probing of Newly Synthesized Peptidoglycan in Live Bacteria with Fluorescent D-Amino Acids


  • We thank David Kysela for discussions and critical reading of the manuscript, Bill Turner and Alvin Kalinda for their help in simplifying the synthesis of FDAAs and Prof. Patricia Foster and the members of her laboratory for their support during the initial stages of the project. M.S.V. was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant AI 059327, Y.V.B. by NIH grant GM051986, M.A.P. by Ministry of Education and Science (Spain) grant BFU2006-04574 and by the Fundación Ramón Areces, F.C. by MICINN (Spain) grant RYC-2010-06241, and P.J.B. by NIH National Research Service Award AI072992.


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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.