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Cell. 1997 Mar 7;88(5):667-74.

Bipolar localization of the replication origin regions of chromosomes in vegetative and sporulating cells of B. subtilis.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


To investigate chromosome segregation in B. subtilis, we introduced tandem copies of the lactose operon operator into the chromosome near the replication origin or terminus. We then visualized the position of the operator cassettes with green fluorescent protein fused to the Lac1 repressor. In sporulating bacteria, which undergo asymmetric cell division, origins localized near each pole of the cell whereas termini were restricted to the middle. In growing cells, which undergo binary fission, origins were observed at various positions but preferentially toward the poles early in the cell cycle. In contrast, termini showed little preference for the poles. These results indicate the existence of a mitotic-like apparatus that is responsible for moving the origin regions of newly formed chromosomes toward opposite ends of the cell.

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