The Three-Dimensional Architecture of a Bacterial Genome and Its Alteration by Genetic Perturbation
We have determined the three-dimensional (3D) architecture of the Caulobacter crescentus genome by combining genome-wide chromatin interaction detection, live-cell imaging, and computational modeling. Using chromosome conformation capture carbon copy (5C), we derive ~13 kb resolution 3D models of the Caulobacter genome. The resulting models illustrate that the genome is ellipsoidal with periodically arranged arms. The parS sites, a pair of short contiguous sequence elements known to be involved in chromosome segregation, are positioned at one pole, where they anchor the chromosome to the cell and contribute to the formation of a compact chromatin conformation. Repositioning these elements resulted in rotations of the chromosome that changed the subcellular positions of most genes. Such rotations did not lead to large-scale changes in gene expression, indicating that genome folding does not strongly affect gene regulation. Collectively, our data suggest that genome folding is globally dictated by the parS sites and chromosome segregation. Highlight of an article published in Molecular Cell in 2011.