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Genetics. 1991 Nov;129(3):623-30.

Pseudoreversion analysis indicates a direct role of cell division genes in polar morphogenesis and differentiation in Caulobacter crescentus.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544.


A pseudoreversion analysis was used to examine the role of cell division genes in polar morphogenesis in Caulobacter crescentus. Extragenic suppressors of temperature sensitive mutations in pleC, a pleiotropic gene required for cell motility, formation of polar phi CbK bacteriophage receptors, and stalk formation, were isolated. These suppressors, which restored motility at 37 degrees C, simultaneously conferred a cold sensitive cell division phenotype and they were mapped to the three new cell division genes divJ, divL and divK. The cold-sensitive mutations in divL, and to a lesser extent divJ, exhibited a relatively narrow range of suppression. The cold-sensitive cell division mutation in divK, by contrast, suppressed all pleC mutations examined and behaved as a classical bypass suppressor. The direct role of this cell division gene in the regulation of motility is suggested by the observation that divK341 mapped to the same locus as pleD301, a pleiotropic mutation that prevents loss of motility and stalk formation. These results provide strong evidence that the cell division and developmental pathways are interconnected and they support our earlier conclusion that cell division is required for the regulation of polar morphogenesis and differentiation in C. crescentus.

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