Current Genetics

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 161–164 | Cite as

The bacterial divisome: more than a ring?

  • Bill SöderströmEmail author
  • Daniel O. DaleyEmail author


Bacterial cells are critically dependent on their ability to divide. The process of division is carried out by a large and highly dynamic molecular machine, known as the divisome. An understanding of the divisomes’ architecture is highly sought after, as it is essential for understanding molecular mechanisms and potentially designing antibiotic molecules that curb bacterial growth. Our current view, which is mainly based on high-resolution imaging of Escherichia coli, is that it is a patchy ring or toroid structure. However, recent super-resolution imaging has shown that the toroid structure contains at least three concentric rings, each containing a different set of proteins. Thus, the emerging picture is that the divisome has different functional modules that are spatially separated in concentric rings.


E. coli Cell division Divisome FtsZ Proto-ring FtsN N-ring 



Work in the SCB unit is supported by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University. BS acknowledges support form Stiftelsen Olle Engkvist Byggmästare and Signhild Engkvists Stiftelse. DOD acknowledges support from Carl Trygger Stiftelsen and the Swedish Research Council.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Structural Cellular Biology UnitOkinawa Institute of Science and TechnologyOnnaJapan
  2. 2.Center for Biomembrane Research, Department of Biochemistry and BiophysicsStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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