This volume is based on a FEMS Symposium entitled Bacterial Growth and Lysis: Metabolism and Structure of the Bacterial Sacculus held at the Monastery of Lluc (Mallorca, Spain) on 5-10 April, 1992. The goals of the symposium were to assess the present state of kwledge on the structure and physiology of the bacterial murein sacculus, and to develop new hypotheses and strategies to promote further development of the field. Consequently, the contributions compiled in this volume include broadly different approaches, from the introduction of new analytical methods to the presentation of provocative models for cell wall growth and division. Structural, biochemical, and genetic aspects are widely covered with special emphasis on the enzymology and regulation of murein hydrolases (autolysins). Comprehensive reviews on bacterial S- layers and yeast cell walls are included to stimulate conceptual cross-feeding with these closely related topics. We believe that this book will provide the reader with a useful and up-to-date review of the topic. We would feel deeply rewarded by any positive influence this book may have on the future progress of the field, whereby all the scientific credit for it should be given to the authors of the excellent contributions presented.