Dynamic Instability of a Bacterial Engine

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Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 987-989
DOI: 10.1126/science.1105535

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During the division of bacteria, not only chromosomal DNA but also plasmids need to be equally segregated between daughter cells. In their Perspective, Müller-Jensen and Gerdes discuss new work ( Garner et al.) showing that in rod-shaped bacteria, polymerization of an actin homolog called ParM provides the driving force enabling segregation of plasmids to opposite poles of the bacterium just beforecell division.