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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 Dec;12(6):689-98. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2009.10.004. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

Cell division is dispensable but not irrelevant in Streptomyces.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA.


In part, members of the genus Streptomyces have been studied because they produce many important secondary metabolites with antibiotic activity and for the interest in their relatively elaborate life cycle. These sporulating filamentous bacteria are remarkably synchronous for division and genome segregation in specialized aerial hyphae. Streptomycetes share some, but not all, of the division genes identified in the historic model rod-shaped organisms. Curiously, normally essential cell division genes are dispensable for growth and viability of Streptomyces coelicolor. Mainly, cell division plays a more important role in the developmental phase of life than during vegetative growth. Dispensability provides an advantageous genetic system to probe the mechanisms of division proteins, especially those with functions that are poorly understood.

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