The study of chromosomal organization and segregation in a handful of bacteria has revealed surprising variety in the mechanisms mediating such fundamental processes. In this study, we further emphasized this diversity by revealing an original organization of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa chromosome. We analyzed the localization of 20 chromosomal markers and several components of the replication machinery in this important opportunistic γ-proteobacteria pathogen. This technique allowed us to show that the 6.3 Mb unique circular chromosome of P. aeruginosa is globally oriented from the old pole of the cell to the division plane/new pole along the oriC-dif axis. The replication machinery is positioned at mid-cell, and the chromosomal loci from oriC to dif are moved sequentially to mid-cell prior to replication. The two chromosomal copies are subsequently segregated at their final subcellular destination in the two halves of the cell. We identified two regions in which markers localize at similar positions, suggesting a bias in the distribution of chromosomal regions in the cell. The first region encompasses 1.4 Mb surrounding oriC, where loci are positioned around the 0.2/0.8 relative cell length upon segregation. The second region contains at least 800 kb surrounding dif, where loci show an extensive colocalization step following replication. We also showed that disrupting the ParABS system is very detrimental in P. aeruginosa. Possible mechanisms responsible for the coordinated chromosomal segregation process and for the presence of large distinctive regions are discussed.
Vallet-Gely, I., & Boccard, F. (2013). Chromosomal Organization and Segregation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PLoS Genetics, 9(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003492