SUMMARY: A filamentous division mutant, PV302, of QM B1551 was isolated while screening for sporulation-defective mutants after nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis. Both phase-contrast and electron microscopy revealed that the mutant produced small spherical cells as well as filaments. It also accumulated large amounts of poly-β-hydroxybutyrate. Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate accounted for 16% of the dry weight of the mutant strain even after 28 h growth. In comparison to the parental strain, the division mutant also showed both an inability to sporulate and a reduced growth rate. All these phenotypes transduced together. Revertants gained the ability to sporulate, divide, and grow normally. Transductional mapping of the mutation, designated , established a new linkage group for consisting of and the pyrimidine biosynthesis genes . The spherical cells were separated from filaments by sucrose gradients and were tested for nucleic acid content and viability. The purified spherical cell fraction contained one-fifth the amount of DNA per mg protein as compared with the filamentous cell fraction and was shown to contain both non-viable minicells and some cells capable of growing after a lag of about 4 h. This suggests that the mutation not only causes defects in septum placement and sporulation, but may possibly affect DNA partitioning.


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