Gram-negative bacterial cell wall, illustration

Gram-negative bacterial cell wall, illustration

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Credit: KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gram-negative bacterial cell wall, artwork. The horizontal layers include both an external and an internal membrane, both containing transmembrane proteins (green, yellow and purple). The membranes are separated by a thin peptidoglycan layer. The outer surface of the external membrane is often a lipopolysaccharide layer with lipids (purple) in the membrane, and long saccharide side chains (red) extending out. This is termed a Gram-negative cell wall because it does not retain the Gram stain that helps identify microbial life.

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