Lookup NU author(s): Dr Yoshikazu Kawai
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
© 2017 China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University. Bacteria appeared early in the evolution of cellular life on planet Earth, and therefore the universally essential genes or biological pathways found across bacterial domains may represent fundamental genetic or cellular systems used in early life. The essential genes and the minimal gene set required to support bacterial life have recently been experimentally and computationally identified. It is, however, still hard to estimate the ancient genes present in primitive cells compared to the essential genes in contemporary bacteria, because we do not know how ancestral primitive cells lived and proliferated, and therefore cannot directly evaluate the essentiality of the genes in ancestral primitive cells. The cell wall is normally essential for bacterial proliferation and cellular division of walled bacterial cells is normally highly controlled by the essential FtsZ cell division machinery. But, bacteria are capable of reverting to their cell wall deficient ancestral form, called the "L-form". Unlike "normal" cells, L-forms divide by a simple physical mechanism based on the effects of membrane dynamics, suggesting a mode of primitive proliferation before the appearance of the cell wall. In this review, we summarize the experimental and computational investigations of minimal gene sets and discuss the minimal cellular modules required to support the proliferation of primitive cells, based on L-form proliferation.
Author(s): Higashi K, Kawai Y, Baba T, Kurokawa K, Oshima T
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Geoscience Frontiers
Print publication date: 01/07/2018
Online publication date: 18/12/2016
Acceptance date: 25/11/2016
Date deposited: 11/05/2018
ISSN (print): 1674-9871
Publisher: Elsevier BV
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