1978 Volume 24 Issue 6 Pages 307-315
Sublethal concentration of the antibiotic, novobiocin, or ethylenediaminetetraacetate was found to induce formation of large regular cell packets in Micrococcus luteus (lysodeikticus), which usually grows in pairs, fours, and short chains of cells. Teichuronic acid, normal constituent of the cell walls of M. luteus, seemed to be absent or present in a very small amount in the cell wall of the cell packets, judged by the agglutination test with antiserum or by chemical analysis of hexose, a component of teichuronic acid. At much higher concentrations, novobiocin also inhibited the enzymic synthesis of teichuronic acids by a particulate fraction of M. luteus. Therefore, it was hypothesized that loss of teichuronic acid was the reason for formation of cell packets by this bacterium in the presence of novobiocin or ethylenediaminetetraacetate.