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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2016 May;53:2-9. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2015.11.012. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Connecting the dots of the bacterial cell cycle: Coordinating chromosome replication and segregation with cell division.

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The ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney 2007, NSW, Australia.
Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
The ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney 2007, NSW, Australia. Electronic address:


Proper division site selection is crucial for the survival of all organisms. What still eludes us is how bacteria position their division site with high precision, and in tight coordination with chromosome replication and segregation. Until recently, the general belief, at least in the model organisms Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, was that spatial regulation of division comes about by the combined negative regulatory mechanisms of the Min system and nucleoid occlusion. However, as we review here, these two systems cannot be solely responsible for division site selection and we highlight additional regulatory mechanisms that are at play. In this review, we put forward evidence of how chromosome replication and segregation may have direct links with cell division in these bacteria and the benefit of recent advances in chromosome conformation capture techniques in providing important information about how these three processes mechanistically work together to achieve accurate generation of progenitor cells.


Bacterial cell cycle; Cell cycle regulation; Cell division; Chromosome segregation; DNA replication; FtsZ

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