1887

Abstract

The proteins encoded by chromosomal homologues of the and genes of many bacterial plasmids have been implicated in chromosome partitioning. Unlike their plasmid counterparts, mutant phenotypes produced by deleting these genes have so far been elusive or weakly expressed, except during sporulation. Here the properties of strains with mutations in and are described. These mutants do not give rise to elevated levels of anucleate bacteria when grown in rich medium under standard conditions. However, in M9-minimal medium different and mutations gave between 5 and 10% anucleate cells during the transition from exponential phase to stationary phase. Comparison of the DNA content of bacteria at different stages of the growth curve, in batch culture in L-broth and in M9-minimal medium, suggests that the genes are particularly important for chromosome partitioning when cell division reduces the chromosome copy number per cell from two to one. This transition occurs in during the entry into stationary phase in M9-minimal medium, but not in L-broth. It is proposed that the partition apparatus is important to ensure proper chromosome segregation primarily when the bacteria are undergoing cell division in the absence of ongoing DNA replication.

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2002-02-01
2020-01-27
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