Cytokinesis is a prerequisite for cellular life. Therefore, it is not surprising that the process of cell division is tightly controlled and intimately linked to other key cellular processes such as genome replication. Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind cytokinesis revealed fascinating insights in the subcellular organization of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
Our lab is devoted to understand how Gram positive, rod-shaped bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis and Corynebacterium glutamicum, are accomplishing cell division and how this process is regulated in time and space.
Bacillus subtilis is an excellent model organism to investigate cell developmental processes. Upon nutrient availbility the cells grow along their long axis and devide precisely at midcell into two equal daughter cells. However, upon nutrient limitation, B. subtilis switches to different evelopmental routes. During sporulation the cell division machinery is shifted towards the cell poles and an asymmetric septum is formed. Upon septum closure distinct cellular processes are initiated in the mother cell and the forespore.
Corynebacterium glutamicum is a rod shaped, Gram positive actinomycete which is widely used in the industrial amino acid fermentation. Furthermore, it's close relationship to several pathogenic organisms such as Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis opens several interesting cell biological tasks. We are interested in the interplay and mechanisms of proteins regulating chromosome segregation, cell elongation and division.