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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2010 Aug;98(2):165-77. doi: 10.1007/s10482-010-9446-0. Epub 2010 May 1.

Growth, cell division and sporulation in mycobacteria.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Biomedical Centre, Uppsala University, Box 596, 751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.


Bacteria have the ability to adapt to different growth conditions and to survive in various environments. They have also the capacity to enter into dormant states and some bacteria form spores when exposed to stresses such as starvation and oxygen deprivation. Sporulation has been demonstrated in a number of different bacteria but Mycobacterium spp. have been considered to be non-sporulating bacteria. We recently provided evidence that Mycobacterium marinum and likely also Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin can form spores. Mycobacterial spores were detected in old cultures and our findings suggest that sporulation might be an adaptation of lifestyle for mycobacteria under stress. Here we will discuss our current understanding of growth, cell division, and sporulation in mycobacteria.

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