FtsZ is localized to a cytokinetic ring at the cell division site in bacteria. In this review a model is discussed that suggests that FtsZ self assembles into a ring at a nucleation site formed on the cytoplasmic membrane under cell-cycle control. This model suggests that formation of the cytokinetic FtsZ ring initiates and coordinates the circumferential invagination of the cytoplasmic membrane and cell wall, leading to formation of the septum. It is also suggested that this process may be conserved among the peptidoglycan-containing eubacteria. In addition, similarities between FtsZ and tubulin are discussed.