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Hypothesis: nucleoid-associated proteins segregate with a parental DNA strand to generate coherent phenotypic diversity

Abstract

The generation of a phenotypic diversity that is coherent across a bacterial population is a fundamental problem. We propose here that the DNA strand-specific segregation of certain nucleoid-associated proteins or NAPs results in these proteins being asymmetrically distributed to the daughter cells. We invoke a variety of mechanisms as responsible for this asymmetrical segregation including those based on differences between the leading and lagging strands, post-translational modifications, oligomerisation and association with membrane domains.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Itzhak Fishov and Christine Jacobs-Wagner for very helpful comments, James Weisshaar for encouragement, and the reviewers for insightful criticisms.

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Correspondence to Vic Norris.

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Konto-Ghiorghi, Y., Norris, V. Hypothesis: nucleoid-associated proteins segregate with a parental DNA strand to generate coherent phenotypic diversity. Theory Biosci. 140, 17–25 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12064-020-00323-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12064-020-00323-5

Keywords

  • Cell cycle
  • Hyperstructure
  • Heterogeneity
  • Assembly
  • DNA strand
  • Bacteria