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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Feb;47(3):645-56.

A missense mutation in ftsZ differentially affects vegetative and developmentally controlled cell division in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2).

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, BMC Box 596, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden.


Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) undergoes at least two kinds of cell division: vegetative septation leading to cross-walls in the substrate mycelium; and developmentally regulated sporulation septation in aerial hyphae. By isolation and characterization of a non-sporulating ftsZ mutant, we demonstrate a difference between the two types of septation. The ftsZ17(Spo) allele gave rise to a classical white phenotype. The mutant grew as well as the parent on plates, and formed apparently normal hyphal cross-walls, although with a small reduction in frequency. In contrast, sporulation septation was almost completely abolished, resulting in a phenotype reminiscent of whiH and ftsZdelta2p mutants. The ftsZ17(Spo) allele was partially dominant and had no detectable effect on the cellular FtsZ content. As judged from both immunofluorescence microscopy of FtsZ and translational fusion of ftsZ to egfp, the mutation prevented correct temporal and spatial assembly of Z rings in sporulating hyphae. Homology modelling of S. coelicolor FtsZ indicated that the mutation, an A249T change in the C-terminal domain, would be expected to alter the protein on the lateral face of FtsZ protofilaments. The results suggest that cytokinesis may be developmentally controlled at the level of Z-ring assembly during sporulation of S. coelicolor A3(2).

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