The cell division process is fundamental to all life. The genetic material in a cell is duplicated and once this is complete, a contractile protein ring divides the parent cell into two daughter cells (the latter is called cytokinesis). The two key decisions that a cell must make during cytokinesis are when will the ring divide and where the ring will be located. These require a clock (or timing system) and a map (or spatial coordinate system) within the cell.
We explore the universality of protein-based Turing pattern systems in cells with particular attention to cell division in prokaryotes. Is cell division controlled by a reaction-diffusion system that sets up a Turing pattern? If it is the case, is this system universal across prokaryotes?