The Staphylococcus aureus murF gene was placed under the control of a promoter inducible by IPTG (isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside). It was demonstrated that murF is an essential gene; it is cotranscribed with ddl4 and growth rate, level of beta-lactam antibiotic resistance, and rates of transcription of the mecA and pbpB genes paralleled the rates of transcription of murF. At suboptimal concentrations of the inducer, a UDP-linked muramyl tripeptide accumulated in the cytoplasm in parallel with the decline in the amounts of the normal pentapeptide cell wall precursor. The abnormal tripeptide component incorporated into the cell wall as a monomeric muropeptide, accompanied by a decrease in the oligomerization degree of the peptidoglycan. However, incorporation of the tripeptide into the cell wall was limited to a relatively low threshold value. Further reduction of the amounts of pentapeptide cell wall precursor caused a gradual decrease in the cellular amounts of peptidoglycan, the production of a thinner peripheral cell wall, aberrant septae, and an overall increase in the diameter of the cells. The observations suggest that the role of murF exceeds its primary function in peptidoglycan biosynthesis and may also be involved in the control of cell division.