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Bacterial partition complexes segregate within the volume of the nucleoid

Nature Communications

Authors: Le Gall A, Cattoni DI, Guilhas B, Mathieu-Demazière C, Oudjedi L, Fiche JB, Rech J, Abrahamsson S, Murray H, Bouet JY, Nollmann M.
Date: 2016-07-05 • Pages: 12107 • PMID: 27377966

FBI Site: MARSMontpellier R&D Teams


Precise and rapid DNA segregation is required for proper inheritance of genetic material. In most bacteria and archaea, this process is assured by a broadly conserved mitotic-like apparatus in which a NTPase (ParA) displaces the partition complex. Competing observations and models imply starkly different 3D localization patterns of the components of the partition machinery during segregation. Here we use super-resolution microscopies to localize in 3D each component of the segregation apparatus with respect to the bacterial chromosome. We show that Par proteins locate within the nucleoid volume and reveal that proper volumetric localization and segregation of partition complexes requires ATPase and DNA-binding activities of ParA. Finally, we find that the localization patterns of the different components of the partition system highly correlate with dense chromosomal regions. We propose a new mechanism in which the nucleoid provides a scaffold to guide the proper segregation of partition complexes.