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Inhibition of Cell Division in Escherichia coli by Electrolysis Products from a Platinum Electrode


IN an investigation of the possible effects of an electric field on growth processes in bacteria, we have discovered a new and interesting effect. In E. coli, the presence of certain group VIIIb transition metal compounds in concentrations of about 1–10 parts per million of the metal in the culture medium causes an inhibition of the cell division process. The bacteria form long filaments, up to 300 times the normal length, which implies that the growth process is not markedly affected.

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ROSENBERG, B., VAN CAMP, L. & KRIGAS, T. Inhibition of Cell Division in Escherichia coli by Electrolysis Products from a Platinum Electrode. Nature 205, 698–699 (1965).

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