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Phenethyl alcohol as a suppressor of the envA phenotype associated with the envA gene in Escherichia coli K-12


, : Phenethyl alcohol as a suppressor of the envA phenotype associated with the envA gene in Escherichia coli K-12. Journal of Bacteriology 108(1): 51-58

In Escherichia coli K-12 the envA gene was previously shown to mediate chain formation and a decreased tolerance to several antibacterial agents. Phenethyl alcohol at low concentrations has now been found to increase the tolerance to actinomycin D, ampicillin, rifampin, and gentian violet in strains containing envA. The increased tolerance to gentian violet was correlated to a decreased uptake of the dye. A phenotype suppression of chain formation and colony morphology in envA mutants was also obtained. Except for an increase in palmitic acid, chemical analysis revealed no differences between an envA and its wild-type strain in the lipopolysaccharide part of the envelope. However, a decrease in the amount of phosphatidylglycerol and a C18: 1 fatty acid was observed in the extractable lipids of a strain containing envA. Growth in the presence of phenethyl alcohol reversed the changes in fatty acid and the phospholipid composition. Phenethyl alcohol was found to cause an immediate but transient inhibition of ribonucleic acid synthesis. It is suggested that this inhibition affects the penetrability barrier of the outer cell envelope layers in strains containing envA.

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PMID: 4941568


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