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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2003 Apr;60(4):663-87.

Toward an understanding of cell growth and the cell division cycle of unicellular photoautotrophic cyanobacteria.

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Biology Department, University of Massachussets Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts 02747-2300, USA.


The cell division cycle of Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 6301 in light is characterized by the sequential and orderly appearance of macromolecular synthesis periods. In the dark, macromolecular synthesis and cell division are severely curtailed. When dark-incubated cultures are reexposed to light, a new cell cycle is initiated. The pattern of the cell events displayed by Synechococcus in light and the absence of sustained growth in dark incubation conditions suggests that light-activated regulatory molecules control macromolecular synthesis and the cell division cycle. For example, ribosomal RNA synthesis is stimulated by a light-activated DNA binding factor in light but not in the dark. Light/dark conditions induce cell synchrony in Prochlorococcus. Distinct G1, S and G2 phases characterize cell cycles of marine Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus. Cell division in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 and marine Synechococcus is controlled by circadian oscillators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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