Selective association of the chromosome with membrane in a stable L-form of Bacillus subtilis.


A stalbe L-form (Sal-1) of Bacillus subtilis was found to have retained a markedly modified chromosome-membrane association when compared to intact cells. The membrane-deoxyribonucleic acid complex of the L-form was similar to that of its parental strain in quantity and stability. Genetic analysis of the L-form membrane-deoxyribonucleic acid complex revealed enrichment for markers close to the replication origin, but not for internal markers, indicating preferential attachment of the origin of chromosomal replication to the membrane. These results are in close agreement with those found for the parental bacterial form. In contrast, the replication termius region was not preferentially attached to the membrane of the L-form, even though it is enriched in the bacterial form. The association of the chromosome with the membrane at the replication terminus does not appear to be necessary for cell growth and separation, but because the L-form divides aberrantly, it may be one of the factors required for normal deoxyribonucleic acid segregation and septation.

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