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Mol Microbiol. 1996 Jun;20(5):1093-8.

Dependency of Escherichia coli cell-division size, and independency of nucleoid segregation on the mode and level of ftsZ expression.

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Departamento de Biología Celular y del Desarrollo, Cousejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Velázquez, Madrid, Spain.


Expression of ftsZ in strain VIP205 is dissociated from its natural promoters, and is under the control of an inducible tac promoter. This abolishes the oscillation in ftsZ transcription observed in the wild type, allowing different levels of ftsZ expression. We demonstrate that this construction does not affect the expression of other genes, and has no effects on replication or nucleoid segregation. A shift in IPTG from 30 microM, that supports division at wild-type sizes, to lower (6 microM) or higher (100 microM) concentrations, indicates that VIP205 cells can divide within a broad range of FtsZ concentrations. Analysis of the morphological parameters during the transition from one IPTG concentration to another suggests that the correct timing of ftsZ expression, and the correct FtsZ concentration, are required for division to occur at normal cell sizes. After a transient division delay during the transition to lower IPTG concentrations, cells in which ftsZ is expressed continuously (yielding 80% of the wild-type FtsZ levels) divide with the same division time as the wild type, but at the expense of becoming 1.5 times larger. A precise control of ftsZ expression is required for normal division, but the existence of additional regulators to maintain the correct timing during the cell cycle cannot be ruled out.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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