Bacterial cell envelopes

Schematic illustrating some of the different arrangements for bacterial cell envelopes.

Classic Gram-positive bacteria are monoderms (contain one cell membrane in their cell envelope) with a thick peptidoglycan layer,and classic Gram-negative bacteria are diderms (enveloped by two membranes) with a thin peptidoglycan layer between the inner and outer membranes. Examples of bacteria with other cell envelope structures include Mycoplasma (monoderms without a peptidoglycan layer), Deinococcales (diderms with a thick peptidoglycan layer that lacks lipopolysaccharide), Corynebacteriales (diderms with a thick peptidoglycan layer and unique outer membrane containing mycolic acids also known as amycomembrane), and Thermotogae (diderms with a unique outer membrane, or toga, very rich in proteins). These schematic diagrams do not show certain components such as S-layers. Red squares represent N-acetylglucosamine, blue circles represent N-acetylmuramicacid, beige squares represent proteins, and lipopolysaccharides are shown in brown.

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