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Kit Pogliano

Professor, Section of Molecular Biology, UCSD

Bacillus subtilis is a bacterium with a simple developmental pathway leading to spore formation under conditions of nutrient limitation. Shortly after the formation of the two cells required for spore formation, the membrane of the larger mother cell begins to migrate around the smaller forespore in a phagocytosis-like process known as engulfment. Ultimately the migrating membrane meets and fuses, releasing the forespore into the mother cell cytoplasm (Figure 1). My lab uses genetic and cell biological approaches to understand the mechanism of engulfment, as a model system for understanding how bacteria move macromolecules within their cells. We have developed methods for the study of engulfment that are ideal for the study of cellular polarity, protein localization and cell division.

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