MreB is important for cell shape but not for chromosome segregation of the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120

Bin Hu, Guohua Yang, Weixing Zhao, Yingjiao Zhang, Jindong Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

MreB is a bacterial actin that plays important roles in determination of cell shape and chromosome partitioning in Escherichia coli and Caulobacter crescentus. In this study, the mreB from the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 was inactivated. Although the mreB null mutant showed a drastic change in cell shape, its growth rate, cell division and the filament length were unaltered. Thus, MreB in Anabaena maintains cell shape but is not required for chromosome partitioning. The wild type and the mutant had eight and 10 copies of chromosomes per cell respectively. We demonstrated that DNA content in two daughter cells after cell division in both strains was not always identical. The ratios of DNA content in two daughter cells had a Gaussian distribution with a standard deviation much larger than a value expected if the DNA content in two daughter cells were identical, suggesting that chromosome partitioning is a random process. The multiple copies of chromosomes in cyanobacteria are likely required for chromosome random partitioning in cell division.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1640-1652
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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