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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Negative staining of freeze-fractured envelopes of Escherichia coli K12.

Envelope fragments of E. coli K12 have been produced by freeze-fracturing "by hand" and negatively stained after thawing. The outer leaflet of the plasma membrane disintegrated upon thawing whereas the outer leaflet of the outer membrane did not. Negative staining revealed the following structural features on the outer membrane fragments: (i) "grooves" 4-6 nm wide, (ii) spherical particles 6-8 nm in diameter, (iii) "black dots" 3-8 nm in diameter. Treatment of cells with EDTA before freeze-fracturing caused dilation of grooves into holes eventually leading to fragmentation of the outer membrane. A mutant strain deficient in two outer membrane proteins fractured exclusively through the outer membrane. The outer leaflets so obtained disintegrated upon thawing similarly as observed for the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane.[1]


  1. Negative staining of freeze-fractured envelopes of Escherichia coli K12. Nermut, M.V., Burdett, I.D., Williams, L.D. Journal of microscopy. (1978) [Pubmed]
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