Bacterial cell division: what it takes to divide a prokaryotic cell

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Bacterial cells, like their eukaryotic counterparts, have a complex subcellular organization required to regulate and coordinate the cell cycle processes, including division. After duplicating their mass and genetic content, most bacteria are equally partitioned into two identical cells, in a process known as binary fission. The generation of equal-sized progeny implies that cytokinesis occurs precisely at mid cell. This is achieved by the regulated positioning of a cytoskeleton element, known as the Z-ring, the initial element of the division septum. The Z-ring recruits all other components of the cytokinetic machinery and ultimately mediates the constriction process that precedes splitting of the daughter cells. Here we review the major steps required for bacterial cell division, including the processes of bacterial chromosome replication and segregation, which have to occur with maximum fidelity and in coordination with cell division, to assure that the genetic information is faithfully transmitted from one generation to the next.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)18-26
JournalCanal BQ - Journal of the Portuguese Biochemical Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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