Logo of jbacterPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJB ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Bacteriol. 1991 Jun; 173(11): 3500–3506.
PMCID: PMC207964

ftsZ is an essential cell division gene in Escherichia coli.


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.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.7M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Armstrong KA, Acosta R, Ledner E, Machida Y, Pancotto M, McCormick M, Ohtsubo H, Ohtsubo E. A 37 X 10(3) molecular weight plasmid-encoded protein is required for replication and copy number control in the plasmid pSC101 and its temperature-sensitive derivative pHS1. J Mol Biol. 1984 May 25;175(3):331–348. [PubMed]
  • Beall B, Lowe M, Lutkenhaus J. Cloning and characterization of Bacillus subtilis homologs of Escherichia coli cell division genes ftsZ and ftsA. J Bacteriol. 1988 Oct;170(10):4855–4864. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Beall B, Lutkenhaus J. Sequence analysis, transcriptional organization, and insertional mutagenesis of the envA gene of Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1987 Dec;169(12):5408–5415. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Begg KJ, Donachie WD. Cell shape and division in Escherichia coli: experiments with shape and division mutants. J Bacteriol. 1985 Aug;163(2):615–622. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bi E, Lutkenhaus J. FtsZ regulates frequency of cell division in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1990 May;172(5):2765–2768. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bi E, Lutkenhaus J. Analysis of ftsZ mutations that confer resistance to the cell division inhibitor SulA (SfiA). J Bacteriol. 1990 Oct;172(10):5602–5609. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bi E, Lutkenhaus J. Interaction between the min locus and ftsZ. J Bacteriol. 1990 Oct;172(10):5610–5616. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Churchward G, Belin D, Nagamine Y. A pSC101-derived plasmid which shows no sequence homology to other commonly used cloning vectors. Gene. 1984 Nov;31(1-3):165–171. [PubMed]
  • Corton JC, Ward JE, Jr, Lutkenhaus J. Analysis of cell division gene ftsZ (sulB) from gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. J Bacteriol. 1987 Jan;169(1):1–7. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Csonka LN, Clark AJ. Construction of an Hfr strain useful for transferring recA mutations between Escherichia coli strains. J Bacteriol. 1980 Jul;143(1):529–530. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • de Boer PA, Crossley RE, Rothfield LI. Central role for the Escherichia coli minC gene product in two different cell division-inhibition systems. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Feb;87(3):1129–1133. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gottesman S, Halpern E, Trisler P. Role of sulA and sulB in filamentation by lon mutants of Escherichia coli K-12. J Bacteriol. 1981 Oct;148(1):265–273. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gutterson NI, Koshland DE., Jr Replacement and amplification of bacterial genes with sequences altered in vitro. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Aug;80(16):4894–4898. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hiraga S, Niki H, Ogura T, Ichinose C, Mori H, Ezaki B, Jaffé A. Chromosome partitioning in Escherichia coli: novel mutants producing anucleate cells. J Bacteriol. 1989 Mar;171(3):1496–1505. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Johnson BF. Fine structure mapping and properties of mutations suppressing the lon mutation in Escherichia coli K-12 and B strains. Genet Res. 1977 Dec;30(3):273–286. [PubMed]
  • Lutkenhaus J. Regulation of cell division in E. coli. Trends Genet. 1990 Jan;6(1):22–25. [PubMed]
  • Lutkenhaus J, Sanjanwala B, Lowe M. Overproduction of FtsZ suppresses sensitivity of lon mutants to division inhibition. J Bacteriol. 1986 Jun;166(3):756–762. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lutkenhaus JF. Coupling of DNA replication and cell division: sulB is an allele of ftsZ. J Bacteriol. 1983 Jun;154(3):1339–1346. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lutkenhaus JF, Wolf-Watz H, Donachie WD. Organization of genes in the ftsA-envA region of the Escherichia coli genetic map and identification of a new fts locus (ftsZ). J Bacteriol. 1980 May;142(2):615–620. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lutkenhaus JF, Wu HC. Determination of transcriptional units and gene products from the ftsA region of Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1980 Sep;143(3):1281–1288. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Phoenix P, Drapeau GR. Cell division control in Escherichia coli K-12: some properties of the ftsZ84 mutation and suppression of this mutation by the product of a newly identified gene. J Bacteriol. 1988 Sep;170(9):4338–4342. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ricard M, Hirota Y. Process of cellular division in Escherichia coli: physiological study on thermosensitive mutants defective in cell division. J Bacteriol. 1973 Oct;116(1):314–322. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Robin A, Joseleau-Petit D, D'Ari R. Transcription of the ftsZ gene and cell division in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1990 Mar;172(3):1392–1399. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shevell DE, Abou-Zamzam AM, Demple B, Walker GC. Construction of an Escherichia coli K-12 ada deletion by gene replacement in a recD strain reveals a second methyltransferase that repairs alkylated DNA. J Bacteriol. 1988 Jul;170(7):3294–3296. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Teather RM, Collins JF, Donachie WD. Quantal behavior of a diffusible factor which initiates septum formation at potential division sites in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1974 May;118(2):407–413. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Vieira J, Messing J. The pUC plasmids, an M13mp7-derived system for insertion mutagenesis and sequencing with synthetic universal primers. Gene. 1982 Oct;19(3):259–268. [PubMed]
  • Ward JE, Jr, Lutkenhaus J. Overproduction of FtsZ induces minicell formation in E. coli. Cell. 1985 Oct;42(3):941–949. [PubMed]
  • Yi QM, Lutkenhaus J. The nucleotide sequence of the essential cell-division gene ftsZ of Escherichia coli. Gene. 1985;36(3):241–247. [PubMed]
  • Yi QM, Rockenbach S, Ward JE, Jr, Lutkenhaus J. Structure and expression of the cell division genes ftsQ, ftsA and ftsZ. J Mol Biol. 1985 Aug 5;184(3):399–412. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Bacteriology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Save items

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Gene
    Gene links
  • GEO Profiles
    GEO Profiles
    Related GEO records
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • Pathways + GO
    Pathways + GO
    Pathways, annotations and biological systems (BioSystems) that cite the current article.
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...