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

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


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.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / physiology
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Gammaproteobacteria / physiology*
  • Nematoda / cytology*
  • Nematoda / microbiology*
  • Nematoda / physiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Symbiosis*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • FtsZ protein, Bacteria
  • MinE protein, E coli
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • MinD protein, E coli