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J Bacteriol. 1992 Aug;174(16):5414-23.

Isolation and characterization of ftsZ alleles that affect septal morphology.

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Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, and Immunology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66103.


The ftsZ gene encodes an essential cell division protein that specifically localizes to the septum of dividing cells. In this study we characterized the effects of the ftsZ2(Rsa) mutation on cell physiology. We found that this mutation caused an altered cell morphology that included minicell formation and an increased average cell length. In addition, this mutation caused a temperature-dependent effect on cell lysis. During this investigation we fortuitously isolated a novel temperature-sensitive ftsZ mutation that consisted of a 6-codon insertion near the 5' end of the gene. This mutation, designated ftsZ26(Ts), caused an altered polar morphology at the permissive temperature and blocked cell division at the nonpermissive temperature. The altered polar morphology resulted from cell division and correlated with an altered geometry of the FtsZ ring. An intragenic cold-sensitive suppressor of ftsZ26(Ts) that caused cell lysis at the nonpermissive temperature was isolated. These results support the hypothesis that the FtsZ ring determines the division site and interacts with the septal biosynthetic machinery.

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