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EMBO Rep. 2002 Dec;3(12):1163-7. Epub 2002 Nov 21.

The Min system is not required for precise placement of the midcell Z ring in Bacillus subtilis.

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  • 1School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


In bacteria, the Min system plays a role in positioning the midcell division site by inhibiting the formation of the earliest precursor of cell division, the Z ring, at the cell poles. However, whether the Min system also contributes to establishing the precise placement of the midcell Z ring is unresolved. We show that the Z ring is positioned at midcell with a high degree of precision in Bacillus subtilis, and this is completely maintained in the absence of the Min system. Min is therefore not required for correct midcell Z ring placement in B. subtilis. Our results strongly support the idea that the primary role of the Min system is to block Z ring formation at the cell poles and that a separate mechanism must exist to ensure cell division occurs precisely at midcell.

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