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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Filamentation is the anomalous growth of certain bacteria, such as E. coli, in which cells continue to elongate but do not divide (no septa formation). Bacterial filamentation is often observed as a result of bacteria responding to various stresses, including DNA damage or inhibition of replication. This may happen, for example, while responding to extensive DNA damage through the SOS response system. Nutritional changes may also cause bacterial filamentation. Some of the key genes involved in filamentation in E.coli include sulA and minCD.

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