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Absence of the Polar Organizing Protein PopZ Results in Reduced and Asymmetric Cell Division in Agrobacterium tumefaciens
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Bacteriology, ISSN 0021-9193, E-ISSN 1098-5530, Vol. 199, no 17, article id UNSP e00101-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a rod-shaped bacterium that grows by polar insertion of new peptidoglycan during cell elongation. As the cell cycle progresses, peptidoglycan synthesis at the pole ceases prior to insertion of new peptidoglycan at midcell to enable cell division. The A. tumefaciens homolog of the Caulobacter crescentus polar organelle development protein PopZ has been identified as a growth pole marker and a candidate polar growth-promoting factor. Here, we characterize the function of PopZ in cell growth and division of A. tumefaciens. Consistent with previous observations, we observe that PopZ localizes specifically to the growth pole in wild-type cells. Despite the striking localization pattern of PopZ, we find the absence of the protein does not impair polar elongation or cause major changes in the peptidoglycan composition. Instead, we observe an atypical cell length distribution, including minicells, elongated cells, and cells with ectopic poles. Most minicells lack DNA, suggesting a defect in chromosome segregation. Furthermore, the canonical cell division proteins FtsZ and FtsA are misplaced, leading to asymmetric sites of cell constriction. Together, these data suggest that PopZ plays an important role in the regulation of chromosome segregation and cell division. IMPORTANCE A. tumefaciens is a bacterial plant pathogen and a natural genetic engineer. However, very little is known about the spatial and temporal regulation of cell wall biogenesis that leads to polar growth in this bacterium. Understanding the molecular basis of A. tumefaciens growth may allow for the development of innovations to prevent disease or to promote growth during biotechnology applications. Finally, since many closely related plant and animal pathogens exhibit polar growth, discoveries in A. tumefaciens may be broadly applicable for devising antimicrobial strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Microbiology , 2017. Vol. 199, no 17, article id UNSP e00101-17
Keywords [en]
Agrobacterium, PopZ, cell polarity, chromosome segregation, cell division, growth polarity
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139133DOI: 10.1128/JB.00101-17ISI: 000408201800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-139133DiVA, id: diva2:1147178
Available from: 2017-10-05 Created: 2017-10-05 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Aliashkevich, AlenaCava, Felipe

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Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS)Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine)
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