Cell division without FtsZ--a variety of redundant mechanisms.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


Until 1998 it looked like all bacteria and archaea used a universal cytokinetic machine based on FtsZ. A dozen completely sequenced bacterial genomes all had an ftsZ gene, as did the several sequenced archaeal genomes. Then in 1998-1999 two species of Chlamydia were sequenced and found to have no ftsZ (Stephens et al., 1998; Kalman et al., 1999). Enthusiasts of FtsZ could hold out some hope for its primacy by thinking that these obligate parasites might use some host machinery for division. But the next year the genome of Aeropyrum pernix, a free living thermophilic archeon, was found to be without ftsZ (Kawarabayasi et al., 1999). Additional sequences suggested that the entire kingdom of Crenarchaea managed life and cell division without FtsZ. Among the bacteria the following are now known to have no ftsZ: the phylum Planctomycetes (Pilhofer et al., 2008), which is related to Chlamydiae but is free-living; Calyptogena okutanii (Kuwahara et al., 2007) and Carsonella ruddi (Nakabachi et al., 2006), both intracellular symbionts; Ureaplasma urealiticum (Glass et al., 2000) and Mycoplasma mobile (Jaffe et al., 2004). Since all of these prokaryotes divide, there must be mechanisms for cell division that are not based on FtsZ. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Erickson, Harold P, and Masaki Osawa (2010). Cell division without FtsZ--a variety of redundant mechanisms. Molecular microbiology, 78(2). 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07321.x Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16463.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Harold Paul Erickson

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Recent research has been on cytoskeleton (eukaryotes and bacteria); a skirmish to debunk the irisin story; a reinterpretation of proposed multivalent binders of the coronavirus spike protein. I have also published an ebook on "Principles of Protein-Protein Association" suitable for a course module or individual learning.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.