What are the steps of Binary Fission? What is ftsZ ring or Z ring in binary fission?

 Binary fission (“division into two”)

Definition: A common type of asexual reproduction in prokaryotes like bacteria, where a parent cell divides to form two identical cells and each having the potential to grow to the size of of the original cell.

What are the steps of Binary Fission?

Why is Binary fission asexual?

In binary fission, one bacterial cell splits into two. There is no sexual fusion of gametes or involvement of gametes.

Which are the steps in binary fission?

Step 1: DNA replication

In Prokaryotes DNA is circular. Replication begins at origin of replication or ori and continues in both directions. At first, ftsZ protein is dispersed in the cytoplasm.

What is FtsZ protein?

FtsZ is a protein encoded by the ftsZ (filamenting temperature sensitive mutant Z) gene that regulates septum formation in binary fission of prokaryotes.

Step 2: Growth of Cell or cell elongation

The cells grow in size or doubles in size and ftsZ protein migrates towards the midpoint.

Duplicated circular DNA moves to the opposite poles of the growing cell.

steps of Binary Fission.  ftsZ ring or Z ring in binary fission

Step 3: Septum formation or Cross wall formation

ftsZ protein moves towards the center and forms a ring which is called as ftsZ ring or Z ring.

What is the role of Z ring in binary fission?

FtsZ ring is to recruit other cell division proteins to the septum to produce a new cell wall between the dividing cells or Z ring directs the formation of septum that divides the cell.

Plasma membrane and other cell wall materials will be deposited to form the septum.

Step 4: Separation of daughter cells

When septum formation is complete, the cell pinches in two, forming two daughter cells. FtsZ protein once again gets dispersed in the cytoplasm of new cells.

Bacterial cytokinesis is mediated by the Z ring, a cytoskeletal element formed by the polymerization of FtsZ protein. This is homologous to tubulin, the cytoskelotal element that forms the microtubules in eukaryotes. Despite billions of years of bacterial evolution, the Z ring is nearly universal among bacteria that have a cell wall and divide by binary fission.


Du, S., & Lutkenhaus, J. (2019). At the Heart of Bacterial Cytokinesis: The Z Ring. Trends in microbiology27(9), 781–791. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2019.04.011

Binary Fission. https://bio.libretexts.org/@go/page/9177

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