The pull of bacterial chromosome segregation

A new paper in the December 1st issue of G&D reveals that a mitotic-like motor powers chromosome segregation in prokaryotes. Studying the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, Drs. Michael Fogel and Matthew Waldor (Tufts University School of Medicine) determined that the chromosome-encoded Par proteins generate a pulling force – similar to that found in eukaryotic anaphase – that mediates the asymmetric segregation of bacterial DNA. Dr. Waldor emphasizes that "The presence of mitotic machines in bacteria suggests that the basic elements for eukaryotic mitosis evolved before the appearance of multicellular organisms."

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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