Cell division and DNA segregation in Streptomyces: how to build a septum in the middle of nowhere?


  • Dagmara Jakimowicz,

    1. Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Ul. Tamka 2, 50-137 Wroclaw, Poland
    2. Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Weigla 12, 53-114 Wroclaw, Poland.
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  • Gilles P. van Wezel

    Corresponding author
    1. Molecular Biotechnology, Sylvius Laboratories, Leiden University, PO Box 9505, 2300RA Leiden, the Netherlands
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E-mail g.wezel@chem.leidenuniv.nl; Tel. (+31) 71 5274310; Fax (+31) 71 5274340.


Streptomycetes are antibiotic-producing filamentous microorganisms that have a mycelial life style. In many ways streptomycetes are the odd ones out in terms of cell division. While the basic components of the cell division machinery are similar to those found in rod-shaped bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, many aspects of the control of cell division and its co-ordination with chromosome segregation are remarkably different. The rather astonishing fact that cell division is not essential for growth makes these bacteria unique. The fundamental difference between the cross-walls produced during normal growth and sporulation septa formed in aerial hyphae, and the role of the divisome in their formation are discussed. We then take a closer look at the way septum site localization is regulated in the long and multinucleoid Streptomyces hyphae, with particular focus on actinomycete-specific proteins and the role of nucleoid segregation and condensation.