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Location of Radioactive Penicillin in Staphylococcus aureus after Contact with the Drug


THE lethal effect on bacteria of mechanical shaking with very small glass beads has been described by King and Alexander1. The morphological picture obtained after subjecting the organisms to such treatment, and the usefulness of the method for producing relatively pure suspensions of cell-wall material, have recently been described2. It is possible to count disrupted and intact cells in electron micrographs (see accompanying photograph), and thus determine the percentage of organisms broken down in a given sample. Since the bacterial sample after shaking can be separated in the centrifuge into two fractions, a supernatant consisting of cytoplasmic material from the disrupted cells and a deposit consisting of cell walls and intact cells, the distribution between cell wall and cytoplasm of any system capable of estimation by independent chemical or physical methods can be determined.

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  1. King, H. K., and Alexander, H., J. Gen. Microbiol., 2, 315 (1948).

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  2. Dawson, I. M., and Elford, W. J., "Nature of the Bacterial Surface" (Blackwell, Oxford) (in the press).

  3. Cooper, P. D., and Rowley, D., Nature, 163, 480 (1949).

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  4. Rowley, D., Cooper, P. D., and Lester-Smith, E., Biochem. J. (in the press).

  5. Gale, E. F., and Taylor, E. S., J. Gen. Microbiol., 1, 314 (1947).

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COOPER, P., ROWLEY, D. & DAWSON, I. Location of Radioactive Penicillin in Staphylococcus aureus after Contact with the Drug. Nature 164, 842–843 (1949).

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