The problem of coordinating genome replication with cell growth in bacteria was posed over four decades ago. Unlike for eukaryotes, this problem has not been completely solved even for Escherichia coli, which has been comprehensively studied by molecular biologists, to say nothing of other bacteria. Current models of the bacterial life cycle solve the coupling problem by introducing a phenomenological hypothesis that considers the dynamic coordination of growth and replication but does not unveil the underlying molecular mechanisms. Here we review the mechanisms regulating genome replication initiation with regards to their coupling to growth processes in the three best investigated bacterial species: E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Caulobacter crescentus. A putative correlation between the type of cell growth laws and the actual mechanisms regulating the replication of DNA formed during the process of evolution in various classes of bacteria, is discussed, including those intracellular parasites in which degenerative evolution has discarded most of their genomes. We contemplate the concept of a universal growth law for bacterial cells and some features in the formation of a primitive negative replication regulating mechanism in the context of the coupling problem.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 2014
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