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Journal Article

Defined chromosome structure in the genome-reduced bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae


Kretschmer,  Simon
Schwille, Petra / Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Trussart, M., Yus, E., Martinez, S., Bau, D., Tahara, Y. O., Pengo, T., et al. (2017). Defined chromosome structure in the genome-reduced bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Nature Communications, 8: 14665. doi:10.1038/ncomms14665.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-0800-7
DNA-binding proteins are central regulators of chromosome organization; however, in genome-reduced bacteria their diversity is largely diminished. Whether the chromosomes of such bacteria adopt defined three-dimensional structures remains unexplored. Here we combine Hi-C and super-resolution microscopy to determine the structure of the Mycoplasma pneumoniae chromosome at a 10 kb resolution. We find a defined structure, with a global symmetry between two arms that connect opposite poles, one bearing the chromosomal Ori and the other the midpoint. Analysis of local structures at a 3 kb resolution indicates that the chromosome is organized into domains ranging from 15 to 33 kb. We provide evidence that genes within the same domain tend to be co-regulated, suggesting that chromosome organization influences transcriptional regulation, and that supercoiling regulates local organization. This study extends the current understanding of bacterial genome organization and demonstrates that a defined chromosomal structure is a universal feature of living systems.