, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 563-572

Chromosome segregation inBacillus subtilis

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Abstract

Bacillus subtilis, a Gram-positive bacterium commonly found in soil, is an excellent model organism for the study of basic cell processes, such as cell division and cell differentiation, called sporulation. InB. subtilis the essential genetic information is carried on a single circular chromosome, the correct segregation of which is crucial for both vegetative growth and sporulation. The proper completion of life cycle requires each daughter cell to obtain identical genetic information. The consequences of inaccurate chromosome segregation can lead to formation of anucleate cells, cells with two chromosomes, or cells with incomplete chromosomes. Although bacteria miss the classical eukaryotic mitotic apparatus, the chromosome segregation is undeniably an active process tightly connected to other cell processes as DNA replication and compaction. To fully understand the chromosome segregation, it is necessary to study this process in a wider context and to examine the role of different proteins at various cell life cycle stages. The life cycle ofB. subtilis is characteristic by its specific cell differentiation process where, two slightly different segregation mechanisms exist, specialized in vegetative growth and in sporulation.

The work was supported by grants 2/7007/27 of theSlovak Academy of Sciences, by grants from theSlovak Research and Development Agency under the contract no. LLP-0218-06, no. ESF-EC-0106, no. APVT-51-0278, and by grant NMP4-CT-2004-013 523 of theEC 6th Framework.