The precarious prokaryotic chromosome

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Evolutionary selection for optimal genome preservation, replication, and expression should yield similar chromosome organizations in any type of cells. And yet, the chromosome organization is surprisingly different between eukaryotes and prokaryotes. The nuclear versus cytoplasmic accommodation of genetic material accounts for the distinct eukaryotic and prokaryotic modes of genome evolution, but it falls short of explaining the differences in the chromosome organization. I propose that the two distinct ways to organize chromosomes are driven by the differences between the global-consecutive chromosome cycle of eukaryotes and the local-concurrent chromosome cycle of prokaryotes. Specifically, progressive chromosome segregation in prokaryotes demands a single duplicon per chromosome, while other "precarious" features of the prokaryotic chromosomes can be viewed as compensations for this severe restriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1806
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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