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Curr Biol. 2012 Oct 9;22(19):R831-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.08.033.

Growth in width and FtsZ ring longitudinal positioning in a gammaproteobacterial symbiont.

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University of Vienna, Department of Genetics in Ecology, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Rod-shaped bacteria usually grow in length and place their FtsZ ring and division site at midcell, perpendicular to their long axis [1,2]. Here, we provide morphometric and immunocytochemical evidence that a nematode-associated gammaproteobacterium [3,4] grows in width, sets a constricting FtsZ ring parallel to its long axis, and divides longitudinally by default. Remarkably, the newly described FtsZ ring appears to be not only 90° shifted with respect to model rods, but also elliptical and discontinuous. This reveals an unexpected versatility of the gammaproteobacterial cytokinetic machinery.

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