We have isolated a homolog of the cell division gene ftsZ from the extremely halophilic archaebacterium Halobacterium salinarium. The predicted protein of 39 kDa is divergent relative to eubacterial homologs, with 32% identity to Escherichia coli FtsZ. No other eubacterial cell division gene homologs were found adjacent to H. salinarium ftsZ. Expression of the ftsZ gene region in H. salinarium induced significant morphological changes leading to the loss of rod shape. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the H. salinarium FtsZ protein is more related to tubulins than are the FtsZ proteins of eubacteria, supporting the hypothesis that FtsZ may have evolved into eukaryotic tubulin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology