Dynamics of Escherichia coli Chromosome Segregation during Multifork Replication

Henrik Jørck Nielsen, Brenda Youngren, Flemming G. Hansen, Stuart Austin

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Slowly growing Escherichia coli cells have a simple cell cycle, with replication and progressive segregation of the chromosome completed before cell division. In rapidly growing cells, initiation of replication occurs before the previous replication rounds are complete. At cell division, the chromosomes contain multiple replication forks and must be segregated while this complex pattern of replication is still ongoing. Here, we show that replication and segregation continue in step, starting at the origin and progressing to the replication terminus. Thus, early-replicated markers on the multiple-branched chromosomes continue to separate soon after replication to form separate protonucleoids, even though they are not segregated into different daughter cells until later generations. The segregation pattern follows the pattern of chromosome replication and does not follow the cell division cycle. No extensive cohesion of sister DNA regions was seen at any growth rate. We conclude that segregation is driven by the progression of the replication forks.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Bacteriology
    Issue number23
    Pages (from-to)8660-8666
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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