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Annu Rev Genet. 2006;40:1-23.

Soil to genomics: the Streptomyces chromosome.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology, John Innes Centre, Colney, Norwich, NR4 7UH, United Kingdom.


The 8-9-Mb Streptomyces chromosome is linear, with a "core" containing essential genes and "arms" carrying conditionally adaptive genes that can sustain large deletions in the laboratory. Bidirectional chromosome replication from a central oriC is completed by "end-patching," primed from terminal proteins covalently bound to the free 5'-ends. Plasmid-mediated conjugation involves movement of double-stranded DNA by proteins resembling other bacterial motor proteins, probably via hyphal tip fusion, mediated by these transfer proteins. Circular plasmids probably transfer chromosomes by transient integration, but linear plasmids may lead the donor chromosome end-first into the recipient by noncovalent association of ends. Transfer of complete chromosomes may be the rule. The recipient mycelium is colonized by intramycelial spreading of plasmid copies, under the control of plasmid-borne "spread" genes. Chromosome partition into prespore compartments of the aerial mycelium is controlled in part by actin- and tubulin-like proteins, resembling MreB and FtsZ of other bacteria.

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