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During the bacterial cell cycle, the processes of chromosome replication, DNA segregation, DNA repair and cell division are coordinated by precisely defined events. Tremendous progress has been made in recent years in identifying the mechanisms that underlie these processes. A striking feature common to these processes is that non-coding DNA motifs play a central part, thus 'sculpting' the bacterial chromosome. Here, we review the roles of these motifs in the mechanisms that ensure faithful transmission of genetic information to daughter cells. We show how their chromosomal distribution is crucial for their function and how it can be analysed quantitatively. Finally, the potential roles of these motifs in bacterial chromosome evolution are discussed.


Fabrice Touzain, Marie-Agnès Petit, Sophie Schbath, Meriem El Karoui. DNA motifs that sculpt the bacterial chromosome. Nature reviews. Microbiology. 2011 Jan;9(1):15-26

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PMID: 21164534

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