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Mesosomes in Escherichia coli

By R. D. Pontefract, G. Bergeron and F. S. Thatcher


When Escherichia coli was grown in a synthetic medium and fixed with osmium, sections of the cells revealed clearly defined mesosomes. These mesosomes appeared to develop, in dividing cells, as coiled infoldings of the cytoplasmic membrane. Mature mesosomes formed a link between the cytoplasmic membrane and the nucleus of the cell. The arrangement of the mesosomes in dividing cells led to the hypothesis that division of the nucleus in these cells is accomplished by two separate polar mesosomes. One mesosome is derived from the parent cell and is present at one pole of the daughter cell. The other is freshly synthesized at or near the newly forming pole of the daughter cell. While the old mesosome remains attached to the chromosome received from the parent cell, the newly synthesized mesosome becomes attached to and initiates replication of the new chromosome. As the cell grows and elongates, the two mesosomes, attached to their respective chromosomes move apart, thus effecting nuclear division

Topics: Taxonomy, Ecology, and Morphology and Structure
Year: 1969
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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