The control of spatial organization during cellular differentiation

Cell Mol Biol Res. 1994;40(3):199-205.


Caulobacter crescentus is a dimorphic bacterium that yields two distinct cell types with every cell division, a motile swarmer cell and a sessile stalked cell. Caulobacter, therefore, possesses a simple developmental program and is used as an model system to determine basic mechanisms of cellular morphogenesis. The generation of the asymmetric predivisional cell requires the temporal expression of many genes as well as the precise intracellular positioning of these gene products. Analysis of the biogenesis and positioning of cell type-specific genes and proteins has been instrumental in understanding the underlying principles as to how asymmetry in the predivisional cell is generated. This manuscript explores our current understanding of the mechanisms by which Caulobacter differentiation is achieved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Caulobacter crescentus / genetics
  • Caulobacter crescentus / growth & development*
  • Caulobacter crescentus / physiology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism
  • DNA Replication
  • Flagella / physiology
  • Flagellin / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Flagellin