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Biochimie. 1999 Aug-Sep;81(8-9):803-10.

Escherichia coli contains a DNA replication compartment in the cell center.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular Cell Biology, BioCentrum Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 316, 1098 SM Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


The active replication forks of E. coli B/r K cells growing with a doubling time of 210 min have been pulse-labeled with [(3)H] thymidine for 10 min. By electron-microscopic autoradiography the silver grains have been localized in the various length classes. From the known pattern of the DNA replication period in the cell cycle at slow growth and from the average position of grains per length class it was deduced that DNA replication starts in the cell center and that it remains there for a substantial part of the DNA replication period. This suggests the occurrence of a centrally located DNA replication compartment.

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