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J Bacteriol. 1985 Aug;163(2):615-22.

Cell shape and division in Escherichia coli: experiments with shape and division mutants.


Double mutants which carry mutations in genes (rodA, pbpA) required for cell elongation (i.e., maintenance of rod shape) in combination with mutations in genes (ftsA, ftsI, ftsQ, or ftsZ) required for septation were constructed. Such mutants were able to grow for about two mass doublings at a normal rate at the restrictive temperature (42 degrees C). The morphology of the cells formed under these conditions was interpreted by assuming the existence of a generalized system for peptidoglycan growth together with two additional systems which modify the shape of the growing peptidoglycan layer. The results also showed that different fts genes probably control different stages in septation. ftsZ (sulB or sfiB) appears to be required for the earliest step in septation, ftsQ and ftsI (pbpB or sep) are required for a later step or steps, and ftsA is required only for the latest stages in septation.

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