Growth polarity and cell division in Streptomyces

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Dec;6(6):564-71. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2003.10.011.


Streptomycetes are mycelial bacteria that resemble filamentous fungi in their apical growth, branching, and morphogenetic development. One inroad into the largely unknown mechanisms underlying this prokaryotic growth polarity is provided by Streptomyces DivIVA, a protein localized at hyphal tips and involved in tip extension. Another aspect is a proposed migration of nucleoids. During sporulation, the modes of growth and cell division are reorganised. This involves dynamic assembly of FtsZ into a multitude of cytokinetic rings. Controlled by developmental regulators and intriguingly coordinated with chromosome segregation, this leads to spores with a single chromosome each. Genome sequences have shed new light on these aspects and reinforced the role of Streptomyces in bacterial cell biology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Streptomyces / genetics
  • Streptomyces / growth & development*
  • Streptomyces / ultrastructure