Effects of Norway spruce (Picea abies) resin on cell wall and cell membrane of Staphylococcus aureus

Ultrastruct Pathol. 2009;33(3):128-35. doi: 10.1080/01913120902889138.


Resin salve prepared from Norway spruce (Picea abies) has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat skin diseases. The authors studied with transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and with electron physiology, changes in cell wall and cell membrane of Staphylococcus aureus after exposure of the bacterial cultures to resin. After exposure, cell wall thickening, cell aggregation, changed branching of fatty acids, and dissipation of membrane potential of the bacterial cells were observed. The authors conclude that spruce resin affects the cell viability via changes in the cell wall and membrane, and impairs, thereby, the synthesis of energy in the bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cell Wall / drug effects*
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Microbial Viability / drug effects
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Picea*
  • Resins, Plant / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Resins, Plant