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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Analysis of molecular diffusion in ftsK cell-division mutants using laser surgery.

Escherichia coli cells that lack the carboxy-terminal part of FtsK fail to segregate their chromosomes properly during cytokinesis and tend to form chains. These chains are possibly formed as a result of DNA being trapped in the division planes or a failure to fuse the membrane during septum formation. If so, small molecules might diffuse between the apparent cell compartments. To investigate this theory, we developed an optical workstation that allows simultaneous imaging of and surgical operations on cellular objects in the sub-micrometre range. By surgical incisions of E. coli cell poles, diffusion of propidium iodide (PI) can be followed in real time. This analysis showed that PI was unable to diffuse from one cell equivalent to another in chain-forming ftsK mutants. Thus, the cytoplasm of the cell compartments in the chains seems to be fully separated.[1]


  1. Analysis of molecular diffusion in ftsK cell-division mutants using laser surgery. Goksör, M., Diez, A., Enger, J., Hanstorp, D., Nyström, T. EMBO Rep. (2003) [Pubmed]
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