Bacterial plasmid and chromosome segregation systems ensure that genetic material is efficiently transmitted to progeny cells. Cell-based studies have shed light on the dynamic nature and the molecular basis of plasmid partition systems. In vitro reconstitutions, on the other hand, have proved to be an invaluable tool for studying the minimal components required to elucidate the mechanism of DNA segregation. This allows us to gain insight into the biological and biophysical processes that enable bacterial cells to move and position DNA. Here, we review the reconstitutions of plasmid partition systems in cell-free reactions, and discuss recent work that has begun to challenge long standing models of DNA segregation in bacteria.
Keywords: Cell-free reaction; DNA segregation; Diffusion ratchet; In vitro reconstitution; ParA ATPase; Plasmid partition.
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