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J Bacteriol. Jun 1991; 173(11): 3500–3506.
PMCID: PMC207964

ftsZ is an essential cell division gene in Escherichia coli.

Abstract

The ftsZ gene is thought to be an essential cell division gene in Escherichia coli. We constructed a null allele of ftsZ in a strain carrying additional copies of ftsZ on a plasmid with a temperature-sensitive replication defect. This strain was temperature sensitive for cell division and viability, confirming that ftsZ is an essential cell division gene. Further analysis revealed that after a shift to the nonpermissive temperature, cell division ceased when the level of FtsZ started to decrease, indicating that septation is very sensitive to the level of FtsZ. Subsequent studies showed that nucleoid segregation was normal while FtsZ was decreasing and that ftsZ expression was not autoregulated. The null allele could not be complemented by lambda 16-2, even though this bacteriophage can complement the thermosensitive ftsZ84 mutation and carries 6 kb of DNA upstream of the ftsZ gene.

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Selected References

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