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J Bacteriol. 1989 Mar;171(3):1496-505.

Chromosome partitioning in Escherichia coli: novel mutants producing anucleate cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Kumamoto University Medical School, Japan.


To study the chromosomal partitioning mechanism in cell division, we have isolated a novel type of Escherichia coli mutants which formed anucleate cells, by using newly developed techniques. One of them, named mukA1, is not lethal and produces normal-sized anucleate cells at a frequency of 0.5 to 3% of total cells in exponentially growing populations but does not produce filamentous cells. Results suggest that the mutant is defective in the chromosome positioning at regular intracellular positions and fails frequently to partition the replicated daughter chromosomes into both daughter cells, resulting in production of one anucleate daughter cell and one with two chromosomes. The mukA1 mutation causes pleiotropic effects: slow growth, hypersensitivity to sodium dodecyl sulfate, and tolerance to colicin E1 protein, in addition to anucleate cell formation. Cloning of the mukA gene indicates that the mukA1 mutation is recessive and that the mukA gene is identical to the tolC gene coding for an outer membrane protein.

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