5.3 Budding


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    What if your cell divides a different way? Some bacteria produce daughters not by fission, but by budding, like this Hyphomonas neptunium cell. These cells concentrate their growth at the end of a stalk (⇩), producing a daughter cell like blowing a bubble. When the bud becomes big enough, they divide at the end of the stalk to release it. First, though, they have to make sure all the necessary components make it into the bud. The process is most dramatic for the genome; here you can see a copy being transferred through the stalk. The chromosome here resembles a double-stranded DNA helix, but it is actually a higher-order structure of supercoiled DNA. (We think the crossbands are proteins that help pack the DNA, not hydrogen-bonded bases.)

    Several other bacterial species divide by budding, although not all have stalks. Some simply bud from the main cell body; you will see an example later in this chapter.

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