The cell envelope, comprising wall and one or two membrane layers, plays many key roles in bacterial cell function. It specifies cell shape, provides strength and protection, and represents a critical interface with the environment. The synthesis of cell envelope layers needs to be coordinated with cell growth. The topology of envelope growth must be radically changed to bring about cell division. Finally, envelope functions represent some of the best targets for antibiotics.
Several groups in the CBCB study these vital processes: