We isolated and characterized a new gene related to the control of cell division regulation in Escherichia coli. At 30 degrees C, the dnaAcos mutant causes over-replication of the chromosome, and colony formation is inhibited. We found that, at this temperature, the dnaAcos cells form filaments; therefore, septum formation is inhibited. This inhibition was independent of SfiA, an inhibitor of the septum-forming protein, FtsZ. To identify factors involved in this pathway of inhibition, we isolated seven multicopy suppressors for the cold-sensitive phenotype of the dnaAcos mutant. One of these proved to be a previously unknown gene, which we named cedA. This gene encoded a 12 kDa protein and resided at 38.9min on the E. coli genome map. A multicopy supply of the cedA gene to the dnaAcos cells did not repress over-replication of the chromosome but did stimulate cell division of the host, the result being growth of cells with an abnormally elevated chromosomal copy number. Therefore, the expression level of the cedA gene seems to be important for inhibiting cell division of the dnaAcos mutant at 30 degrees C. We propose that over-replication of the chromosome activates a pathway for inhibiting cell division and that the cedA gene modulates this division control. In the dnaA+ background, cedA also seems to affect cell division.