Cell division is an essential biological process. Majority of the attempts to understand bacterial cell division stems from research performed in rod-shaped model organisms, Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis. Even in these model bacteria, new reports have exposed the presence of as-yet unidentified cell division factors. Unlike these rod-shaped organisms, which divide in the middle perpendicular to the long axis, spherical Staphylococcus aureus cells divide sequentially in orthogonal planes. Though this nature of S. aureus cell division has been known for 40 years, no viable models exist at this time to explain how this mode of cytokinesis is achieved and its significance in this organism. S. aureus also lacks a key cell division regulatory system (Min system) that is present in model organisms. Our proposed project is designed to address these major knowledge gaps in the field of bacterial cell division, specifically in the Gram-positive model bacterium B. subtilis and the spherical bacterium of significant
Cell division is a fundamental biological process. This proposal, which is based on our high- impact publications and innovative preliminary data, is geared towards addressing a major knowledge gap in the field of bacterial cell division specifically in the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis and the spherical bacterium of significant public health importance Staphylococcus aureus. As cell division is an essential process, cell division factors serve as attractive drug targets to help design and supply novel antibiotics to aid in our fight against rapidly emerging antibiotic-resistant bacteria.