Chromosome replication, cell growth, division and shape: A personal perspective

Arieh Zaritsky, Conrad L. Woldringh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The origins of Molecular Biology and Bacterial Physiology are reviewed, from our personal standpoints, emphasizing the coupling between bacterial growth, chromosome replication and cell division, dimensions and shape. Current knowledge is discussed with historical perspective, summarizing past and present achievements and enlightening ideas for future studies. An interactive simulation program of the bacterial cell division cycle (BCD), described as "The Central Dogma in Bacteriology," is briefly represented. The coupled process of transcription/translation of genes encoding membrane proteins and insertion into the membrane (so-called transertion) is invoked as the functional relationship between the only two unique macromolecules in the cell, DNA and peptidoglycan embodying the nucleoid and the sacculus respectively. We envision that the total amount of DNA associated with the replication terminus, so called "nucleoid complexity," is directly related to cell size and shape through the transertion process. Accordingly, the primary signal for cell division transmitted by DNA dynamics (replication, transcription and segregation) to the peptidoglycan biosynthetic machinery is of a physico-chemical nature, e.g., stress in the plasma membrane, relieving nucleoid occlusion in the cell's center hence enabling the divisome to assemble and function between segregated daughter nucleoids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number756
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberAUG
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Bacterial cell division cycle
  • Nucleoid complexity and segregation
  • Peptidoglycan biosynthesis
  • Size and shape determination
  • Transertion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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