Summary: We have previously reported that in the presence of small amounts of Mn(II) ions, stationary-phase cultures of the radioresistant bacterium IR are capable of undergoing about three new rounds of cell division which are non-exponential and reductive. This novel Mn(II)-induced cell division (Mn-CD) phenomenon was studied further. Two mutants were isolated from IR and were found to harbour mutations affecting the continuation of cell division and DNA replication, one of which affected vegetative growth but not Mn-CD, while the other affected Mn-CD but not vegetative growth. Moreover, a DNA synthesis transition was observed when growth was switched from the normal to the Mn-CD process. These results suggest the presence in of an alternative type of cell division induction, which is characterized by being Mn(II)-dependent and stationary-phase specific.


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