FtsZ Rings, Polar Morphology and Cell Lysis
The involvement of ftsZ in cell division was first suggested by study of the ftsZ84 (Ts) mutation (Lutkenhaus et al. 1980). This mutation blocks cell division at the nonpermissive temperature leading to a “smooth” filamentous morphology; filaments without any sign of constriction. This phenotype contrasts with that induced by mutations in other fts genes which display an “indented” filamentous morphology (Begg and Donachie, 1985; Taschner et al., 1988). These results suggest that ftsZ acts earlier in the division pathway than other identified cell division genes. More recently, the construction of conditional ftsZ null mutations confirmed the notion that ftsZ is an essential cell division gene (Dai and Lutkenhaus, 1991; Wang et al. 1991; Pla et al. 1991). The involvement of ftsZ in cell division is also supported by studies that examined the effect of increasing ftsZ expression. Increases in the level of FtsZ leads to a hyperdivision activity in the form of a minicell phenotype (Ward and Lutknehaus, 1985). This result suggests that FtsZ is the rate limiting component for cell division.
KeywordsPolar Morphology Nonpermissive Temperature Division Site FtsZ Ring Cell Division Gene
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