Bacterial cell division at a glance

Christopher R. Mahone, Erin D. Goley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Bacterial cell division is initiated by the midcell assembly of polymers of the tubulin-like GTPase FtsZ. The FtsZ ring (Z-ring) is a discontinuous structure made of dynamic patches of FtsZ that undergo treadmilling motion. Roughly a dozen additional essential proteins are recruited to the division site by the dynamic Z-ring scaffold and subsequently activate cell wall synthesis to drive cell envelope constriction during division. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we summarize our understanding of the assembly and activation of the bacterial cell division machinery. We introduce polymerization properties of FtsZ and discuss our current knowledge of divisome assembly and activation. We further highlight the intimate relationship between the structure and dynamics of FtsZ and the movement and activity of cell wall synthases at the division site, before concluding with a perspective on the most important open questions on bacterial cell division.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjcs237057
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Bacteria
  • Bacterial cell biology
  • Cell division
  • Cytokinesis
  • FtsZ
  • Peptidoglycan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Bacterial cell division at a glance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this