Control of Prokaryotic Cell Division via Turing Mechanisms


James Walsh


Biophysics and School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW


Fri, 01/06/2012 - 1:00pm




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?

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