1887

Abstract

is a Gram-positive bacterium that lacks the cell division FtsA protein and actin-like MreB proteins responsible for determining cylindrical cell shape. When the cell division gene from () was cloned in different multicopy plasmids, the resulting constructions could not be introduced into ; it was assumed that elevated levels of FtsZ result in lethality. The presence of a truncated and a complete under the control of P led to a fourfold reduction in the intracellular levels of FtsZ, generating aberrant cells displaying buds, branches and knots, but no filaments. A 20-fold reduction of the FtsZ level by transformation with a plasmid carrying the gene dramatically reduced the growth rate of , and the cells were larger and club-shaped. Immunofluorescence microscopy of FtsZ or visualization of FtsZ–GFP in revealed that most cells showed one fluorescent band, most likely a ring, at the mid-cell, and some cells showed two fluorescent bands (septa of future daughter cells). When FtsZ–GFP was expressed from P, FtsZ rings at mid-cell, or spirals, were also clearly visible in the aberrant cells; however, this morphology was not entirely due to GFP but also to the reduced levels of FtsZ expressed from P. Localization of FtsZ at the septum is not negatively regulated by the nucleoid, and therefore the well-known occlusion mechanism seems not to operate in .

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2005-08-01
2019-11-18
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