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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2011 Mar;35(2):395-414. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2010.00254.x. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

An inventory of the bacterial macromolecular components and their spatial organization.

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  • 1Fourmentin-Guilbert Scientific Foundation, Noisy-Le-Grand, France.


Formerly regarded as small 'bags' of nucleic acids with randomly diffusing enzymes, bacteria are organized by a sophisticated and tightly regulated molecular machinery. Here, we review qualitative and quantitative data on the intracellular organization of bacteria and provide a detailed inventory of macromolecular structures such as the divisome, the degradosome and the bacterial 'nucleolus'. We discuss how these metabolically active structures manage the spatial organization of the cell and how macromolecular crowding influences them. We present for the first time a visualization program, lifeexplorer, that can be used to study the interplay between metabolism and spatial organization of a prokaryotic cell.

© 2010 Fourmentin-Guilbert Foundation. FEMS Microbiology Reviews © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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