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Pleiomorphism inMycobacterium-Chapter Four

Elsevier Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-12-394381-1.00004-0
  • Actinobacteria
  • Mycobacterium
  • Cell Shape And Morphology
  • Cell Division
  • Sporulation
  • Computer Science
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine


Abstract Morphological variants in mycobacterial cultures under different growth conditions, including aging of the culture, have been shown to include fibrous aggregates, biofilms, coccoids, and spores. Here we discuss the diversity in shape and size changes demonstrated by bacterial cells with special reference to pleiomorphism observed in Mycobacterium spp. in response to nutritional and other environmental stresses. Inherent asymmetry in cell division and compartmentalization of cell interior under different growth conditions might contribute toward the observed pleiomorphism in mycobacteria. The regulatory genes comprising the bacterial signaling pathway responsible for initiating morphogenesis are speculated upon from bioinformatic identifications of genes for known sensors, kinases, and phosphatases existing in mycobacterial genomes as well as on the basis of what is known in other bacteria.

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