Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Part of the gene encoding penicillin-binding protein 5 from Bacillus subtilis 168 was cloned in Escherichia coli with a synthetic oligonucleotide as a hybridization probe. The gene was designated dacA by analogy with E. coli. The nucleotide sequence was determined, and the predicted molecular mass was 45,594 daltons (412 amino acids). A comparison of the predicted amino acid sequence with that of the E. coli penicillin-binding protein 5 indicated that these enzymes showed about 25% identity. The B. subtilis dacA gene was mutated by integration of a plasmid into the structural gene by homologous recombination. A comparison of the mutant and control strains revealed that (i) the mutant lacked detectable penicillin-binding protein 5, (ii) the D-alanine carboxypeptidase activity of membranes isolated from the mutant was only 5% of that measured in membranes from the control strain, (iii) the mutant cells showed apparently normal morphology only during exponential growth, and after the end of exponential phase the cells became progressively shorter, (iv) the mutant sporulated normally except that the forespore occupied about two-thirds of the mother cell cytoplasm and, during its development, migrated towards the center of the mother cell, and (v) purified mutant spores were 10-fold less heat resistant but possessed normal refractility and morphology. Preliminary chemical analysis indicated that the structure of the cortex of the mutant was different.

Original publication




Journal article


J Bacteriol

Publication Date





257 - 264


Amino Acid Sequence, Bacillus subtilis, Bacterial Proteins, Base Sequence, Carboxypeptidases, Carrier Proteins, Cloning, Molecular, Escherichia coli, Genes, Genes, Bacterial, Hexosyltransferases, Hot Temperature, Muramoylpentapeptide Carboxypeptidase, Mutation, Penicillin-Binding Proteins, Peptidyl Transferases, Phenotype, Spores, Bacterial