Requirement for the cell division protein DivIB in polar cell division and engulfment during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis

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Journal Article
Journal of Bacteriology, 2006, 188 (21), pp. 7677 - 7685
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During spore formation in Bacillus subtilis, cell division occurs at the cell pole and is believed to require essentially the same division machinery as vegetative division. Intriguingly, although the cell division protein DivIB is not required for vegetative division at low temperatures, it is essential for efficient sporulation under these conditions. We show here that at low temperatures in the absence of DivIB, formation of the polar septum during sporulation is delayed and less efficient. Furthermore, the polar septa that are complete are abnormally thick, containing more peptidoglycan than a normal polar septum. These results show that DivIB is specifically required for the efficient and correct formation of a polar septum. This suggests that DivIB is required for the modification of sporulation septal peptidoglycan, raising the possibility that DivIB either regulates hydrolysis of polar septal peptidoglycan or is a hydrolase itself. We also show that, despite the significant number of completed polar septa that form in this mutant, it is unable to undergo engulfment. Instead, hydrolysis of the peptidoglycan within the polar septum, which occurs during the early stages of engulfment, is incomplete, producing a similar phenotype to that of mutants defective in the production of sporulation-specific septal peptidoglycan hydrolases. We propose a role for DivIB in sporulation-specific peptidoglycan remodelling or its regulation during polar septation and engulfment. Copyright © 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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