In vivo DNase I sensitivity of the Streptomyces coelicolor chromosome correlates with gene expression: implications for bacterial chromosome structure

Michael McArthur, Mervyn Bibb

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10 Citations (Scopus)


For a bacterium, Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) contains a relatively large genome (8.7 Mb) with a complex and adaptive pattern of gene regulation. We discovered a correlation between the physical structure of the S.coelicolor genome and the transcriptional activity of the genes therein. Twelve genes were surveyed throughout 72 h of growth for both in vivo sensitivity to DNase I digestion and levels of transcription. DNase I-sensitivity correlated positively with transcript levels, implying that it was predictive of gene expression, and indicating increased accessibility of transcribed DNA. The genome was fractionated based on the sensitivity to DNase I digestion, with the low molecular weight (frequently cut) fraction highly enriched for actively transcribed sequences when compared to the infrequently cut fraction, which was representative of the entire genome. This approach will allow comparison of nucleoid proteins, and any modifications thereof, associated with transcriptionally active and inactive regions of the bacterial genome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5395-401
Number of pages7
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Chromosomes, Fungal
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Streptomyces coelicolor
  • Transcription, Genetic

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