Bacterial cytoskeletal elements are involved in an astonishing spectrum of cellular functions, from cell shape determination to cell division, plasmid segregation, the positioning of membrane-associated proteins and membrane structures, and other aspects of bacterial physiology. Interestingly, these functions are not necessarily conserved, neither between different bacterial species nor between bacteria and eukaryotic cells. The flexibility of cytoskeletal elements in performing different tasks is amazing and emphasises their very early development during evolution. This review focuses on the dynamics of cytoskeletal elements from bacteria. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.