T. den Blaauwen
- Size-independent symmetric division in extraordinarily long cells
- Nature Communications
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Two long-standing paradigms in biology are that cells belonging to the same population exhibit little deviation from their average size and that symmetric cell division is size limited. Here, ultrastructural, morphometric and immunocytochemical analyses reveal that two Gammaproteobacteria attached to the cuticle of the marine nematodes Eubostrichus fertilis and E. dianeae reproduce by constricting a single FtsZ ring at midcell despite being 45 mum and 120 mum long, respectively. In the crescent-shaped bacteria coating E. fertilis, symmetric FtsZ-based fission occurs in cells with lengths spanning one order of magnitude. In the E. dianeae symbiont, formation of a single functional FtsZ ring makes this the longest unicellular organism in which symmetric division has ever been observed. In conclusion, the reproduction modes of two extraordinarily long bacterial cells indicate that size is not the primary trigger of division and that yet unknown mechanisms time the localization of both DNA and the septum.
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