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Keywords:

  • peptidoglycan;
  • penicillin-binding protein;
  • endospore

Abstract

The nonessential process of peptidoglycan synthesis during Bacillus subtilis sporulation is one model to study bacterial cell wall biogenesis. SpoVD is a class B high-molecular-weight penicillin-binding protein that is specific for sporulation. Strains lacking this protein produce spores without the peptidoglycan cortex layer and are heat sensitive. The detailed functions of the four different protein domains of SpoVD are unknown, and the observed phenotype of strains lacking the entire protein could be an indirect defect. We therefore inactivated the transpeptidase domain by substitution of the active-site serine residue. Our results demonstrate that endospore cortex synthesis depends on the transpeptidase activity of SpoVD specifically.