Experiments on chromosome separation and positioning in Escherichia coli

New Biol. 1991 May;3(5):475-86.


The way in which sister genomes are spatially separated after replication and positioned in sister cells after division remains unknown for prokaryotes. Experiments with Escherichia coli suggest that individual "chromosomes" (folded, covalently closed circular DNA molecules) are fixed in position within growing cells both before and during replication, but that they are rapidly moved apart by a fixed distance (unit length) immediately after replication has been completed. Such a mitosis-like mechanism accounts for the aberrant positions of DNA and septa in cells in which the normal coordination between DNA replication and cell elongation has been perturbed.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / ultrastructure*
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Models, Genetic*


  • DNA, Bacterial