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J Bacteriol. 1976 Oct;128(1):69-79.

Linkages between deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis and cell division in Myxococcus xanthus.


Addition of chloramphenicol or 0.5 M glycerol to growing Myxococcus xanthus resulted in an immediate cessation of cell division and 40% net increase in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Although the chloramphenicol-treated cells divided in the presence of nalidixic acid after chloramphenicol was removed, glycerol-induced myxospores required DNA synthesis for subsequent cell division. Myxospores prepared from chloramphenicol-treated cells lost this potential to divide in the presence of nalidixic acid. The "critical period" of DNA synthesis necessary for cell division after germination overlapped in time (3 to 5 h) with initiation of net DNA synthesis. The length of the critical period of DNA synthesis was estimated at 12 min, or 5% of the M. xanthus chromosome. The requirement for cell division during germination also involved ribonucleic acid and protein synthesis after DNA synthesis. The data suggest that replication at or near the origin of the chromosome triggers the formation of a protein product that is necessary but not sufficient for subsequent cell division; DNA termination is also required. During myxospore formation, the postulated protein is destroyed, thereby reestablishing and making apparent this linkage between early DNA synthesis and cell division.

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