1887

Abstract

To understand the role of () in the cell division process, the gene was characterized at the genetic level. This study shows that is an essential gene in that it can only be disrupted in a merodiploid background carrying another functional copy. Expression of in from a constitutively active mycobacterial promoter resulted in lethality whereas that from a chemically inducible acetamidase () promoter led to FtsZ accumulation, filamentation and cell lysis. To further understand the roles of in cell division a conditionally complementing mutant strain was constructed in which expression is controlled by acetamide. Growth in the presence of 0·2 % acetamide increased FtsZ levels approximately 1·4-fold, but did not decrease viability or change cell length. Withdrawal of acetamide reduced FtsZ levels, decreased viability, increased cell length and eventually lysed the cells. Finally, it is shown that function in can be replaced with the counterpart, indicating that heterologous FtsZ can independently initiate the formation of Z-rings and catalyse the septation process. It is concluded that optimal levels of FtsZ are required to sustain cell division and that the cell division initiation mechanisms are similar in mycobacteria.

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2003-06-01
2019-10-22
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