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Biological Physics (iPoLS) Seminar: Paola Mera (UIUC) "It’s all about communication: how bacteria coordinate their life cycles"

Event Type
Physics Department
Feb 24, 2023   2:00 pm  
Paola Mera
Sharlene Denos
Originating Calendar
Physics - Biological Physics (iPoLS) Seminar

Maintaining the integrity of the chromosome is vital for the survival of bacteria. To accomplish this vital task, major cell cycle events including chromosome replication, segregation, and proper timing of cytokinesis are coordinated, temporally and spatially. Any defect that disturbs this coordination can be lethal. Although replication, segregation, and cell division have been extensively studied in bacteria, our understanding of how these processes are coordinated with each other remains limited. Using the bacterial system Caulobacter crescentus, we have uncovered a complex communication network that occurs between the initiator of chromosome replication (DnaA) and the initiator of chromosome segregation (ParA). For instance, our data revealed that DnaA can promote the onset of chromosome segregation independently of DnaA’s ability to initiate replication, but dependently on ParA’s activity. Similarly, ParA can promote the onset of chromosome replication independently of ParA’s ability to trigger chromosome segregation, but dependently on the presence of DnaA. Overall, our work is revealing a highly coordinated and multidirectional network that is involved in maintaining the integrity of the chromosome during the proliferation of bacteria.

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