Spo0A regulates chromosome copy number during sporulation by directly binding to the origin of replication in Bacillus subtilis

Authors

  • Mirjam Boonstra,

    1. Molecular Genetics Group, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, Centre for Synthetic Biology, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally.
  • Imke G. de Jong,

    1. Molecular Genetics Group, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, Centre for Synthetic Biology, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally.
  • Graham Scholefield,

    1. Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Heath Murray,

    1. Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Oscar P. Kuipers,

    Corresponding author
    1. Kluyver Center for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, Netherlands Genomics Initiative/Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Groningen/Delft, the Netherlands
    • Molecular Genetics Group, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, Centre for Synthetic Biology, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jan-Willem Veening

    Corresponding author
    • Molecular Genetics Group, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, Centre for Synthetic Biology, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

  • This article is dedicated to the memory of Henny Kalk.

For correspondence. Oscar P. Kuipers: E-mail o.p.kuipers@rug.nl; Tel. (+31) (0)50 363 2093; Fax (+31) (0)50 363 2348; Jan-Willem Veening: E-mail j.w.veening@rug.nl; Tel. (+31) (0)50 363 2408; Fax (+31) (0)50 363 2348.

Summary

When starved, Bacillus subtilis cells can enter the developmental programme of endospore formation by activation of the master transcriptional regulator Spo0A. Correct chromosome copy number is crucial for the production of mature and fully resistant spores. The production and maintenance of one chromosome for the mother cell and one copy for the forespore requires accurate co-ordination between DNA replication and initiation of sporulation. Here, we show that Spo0A regulates chromosome copy number by directly binding to a number of Spo0A binding sites that are present near the origin of replication (oriC). We demonstrate that cells lacking three specific Spo0A binding sites at oriC display increased chromosome copy numbers when sporulation is induced. Our data support the hypothesis that Spo0A directly controls DNA replication during sporulation by binding to oriC.

Ancillary