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Remarkable biological complexity of bacterial cells is focus of newly released book

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Nov. 24, 2010) -- The bacterial cell is often thought of as a "bag of enzymes"a single compartment with limited internal structure, a primitive cell cycle, and relatively simple metabolism. However, as summarized in a new book, Cell Biology of Bacteria, advanced technologies have recently revealed how bacterial cells possess distinct intracellular compartments that help orchestrate complex biochemical processes.

"As we now know, and despite its small size, the bacterial cell has an intricate and dynamic three-dimensional organization that is inseparable from its biology," write the editors, Lucy Shapiro and Richard Losick, in the Preface of the book. "It is this revolution in our understanding of the bacterial cell that is the subject of this volume."

Cell Biology of Bacteria covers all aspects of current research in bacterial cell biology. The first few chapters relate how the nucleoid behaves during cell division, how the cytoskeletal filamentsreminiscent of those in eukaryotesguide cell growth and chromosome movement, how organelles and molecular machines carry out specialized tasks, and how specific proteins are localized within the cell.

The next series of chapters covers the specialized roles of individual bacterial cells in larger, multicellular communities such as biofilms, and the communication mechanisms used among those cells. Finally, the last few chapters discuss advanced imaging methods that, in conjunction with whole-genome sequences and bioinformatics tools, are currently being used to provide an even deeper understanding of prokaryote biology.

All chapters in Cell Biology of Bacteria were written by one or more senior figures in their respective fields. The book was just released by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and will be essential reading for all engaged and interested in bacterial cell biology.


Contact: Liz Powers
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Page: 1

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