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Microbiology. 2003 Dec;149(Pt 12):3531-42.

Involvement of DivIVA in the morphology of the rod-shaped actinomycete Brevibacterium lactofermentum.

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Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Microbiología, Area de Microbiología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de León, 24071 León, Spain.


In Brevibacterium lactofermentum, as in many Gram-positive bacteria, a divIVA gene is located downstream from the dcw cluster of cell-division- and cell-wall-related genes. This gene (divIVA(BL)) is mostly expressed during exponential growth, and the protein encoded, DivIVA(BL,) bears some sequence similarity to antigen 84 (Ag84) from mycobacteria and was detected with monoclonal antibodies against Ag84. Disruption experiments using an internal fragment of the divIVA(BL) gene or a disrupted divIVA(BL) cloned in a suicide conjugative plasmid were unsuccessful, suggesting that the divIVA(BL) gene is needed for cell viability in BREV: lactofermentum. Transformation of BREV: lactofermentum with a multicopy plasmid containing divIVA(BL) drastically altered the morphology of the corynebacterial cells, which became larger and bulkier, and a GFP fusion to DivIVA(BL) mainly localized to the ends of corynebacterial cells. This localization pattern, together with the overproduction phenotype, suggests that DivIVA may be important in regulating the apical growth of daughter cells.

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