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Growth pattern and cell division in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

By B Westling-Häggström, T Elmros, S Normark and B Winblad


The gram-negative coccus Neisseria gonorrhoeae was found to grow regularly in at least two dimensions. Growth proceeded at a linear rate sequentially in each dimension. Growth in the second dimension (former width) was initiated slightly before the pole-division plane distance equalled the cell width. Penicillin treatment localized presumptive growth zones to the existing septum region. It was suggested that new growth zones were always formed perpendicular to the longitudinal axis created in the incipient daughter cells of a dividing coccus. Neither penicillin nor nalidixic acid induced filaments of N. gonorrhoeae. Such structures could nevertheless be formed in the rod-shaped species Neisseria elongata. N. gonorrhoeae divides by septation; however, complete septal structures with separated cytoplasms were rather infrequent. It is proposed that N. gonorrhoeae be regarded as a short rod which always extends parallel to the actual longitudinal axis and which never undergoes a rod-sphere-rod transition

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1977
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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