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Persistent super-diffusive motion of Escherichia coli chromosomal loci.

TitlePersistent super-diffusive motion of Escherichia coli chromosomal loci.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsJaver, A, Kuwada, NJ, Long, Z, Benza, VG, Dorfman, KD, Wiggins, PA, Cicuta, P, Cosentino Lagomarsino, M
JournalNat Commun
Date Published2014

The physical nature of the bacterial chromosome has important implications for its function. Using high-resolution dynamic tracking, we observe the existence of rare but ubiquitous 'rapid movements' of chromosomal loci exhibiting near-ballistic dynamics. This suggests that these movements are either driven by an active machinery or part of stress-relaxation mechanisms. Comparison with a null physical model for subdiffusive chromosomal dynamics shows that rapid movements are excursions from a basal subdiffusive dynamics, likely due to driven and/or stress-relaxation motion. Additionally, rapid movements are in some cases coupled with known transitions of chromosomal segregation. They do not co-occur strictly with replication, their frequency varies with growth condition and chromosomal coordinate, and they show a preference for longitudinal motion. These findings support an emerging picture of the bacterial chromosome as off-equilibrium active matter and help developing a correct physical model of its in vivo dynamic structure.

Alternate JournalNat Commun
PubMed ID24874970

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