Prokaryotic Life Cycles

  • Lawrence J. Shimkets


While the normal consequence of bacterial growth is production of identical cells, many prokaryotes generate a cell with a different purpose than the parent. These new cell types have one of three specific functions, dormancy, nutrient acquisition, or dispersal. Quite surprisingly, no prokaryotic life cycles have been described that result in sexual reproduction. Analysis of prokaryotic life cycles has progressed to the point where many life cycles have been described, primarily in the domain Bacteria. Life cycles have been studied in rigorous detail to determine what environmental cues initiate the process or how the cellular transformation occurs. This chapter attempts to familiarize the reader with many of the wonderful systems that have been discovered. Space limitations do not permit comprehensive discussion of all the life cycles that have been described. This chapter also covers several model systems in detail to illustrate the relevant genetic and biochemical strategies.


Fruiting Body Sigma Factor Aerial Hypha Asymmetric Cell Division Alginate Lyase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grant MCB0742976.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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