Comparative Genomics of Interreplichore Translocations in Bacteria: A Measure of Chromosome Topology?

G3 (Bethesda). 2016 Jun 1;6(6):1597-606. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.028274.


Genomes evolve not only in base sequence but also in terms of their architecture, defined by gene organization and chromosome topology. Whereas genome sequence data inform us about the changes in base sequences for a large variety of organisms, the study of chromosome topology is restricted to a few model organisms studied using microscopy and chromosome conformation capture techniques. Here, we exploit whole genome sequence data to study the link between gene organization and chromosome topology in bacteria. Using comparative genomics across ∼250 pairs of closely related bacteria we show that: (a) many organisms show a high degree of interreplichore translocations throughout the chromosome and not limited to the inversion-prone terminus (ter) or the origin of replication (oriC); (b) translocation maps may reflect chromosome topologies; and (c) symmetric interreplichore translocations do not disrupt the distance of a gene from oriC or affect gene expression states or strand biases in gene densities. In summary, we suggest that translocation maps might be a first line in defining a gross chromosome topology given a pair of closely related genome sequences.

Keywords: chromosome topology; gene order conservation; genome architecture; genome evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial*
  • DNA Replication*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomics* / methods
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Translocation, Genetic