Spatial rearrangement of the Streptomyces venezuelae linear chromosome during sporogenic development.

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Bacteria of the genus Streptomyces have a linear chromosome, with a core region and two ‘arms’. During their complex life cycle, these bacteria develop multi-genomic hyphae that differentiate into chains of exospores that carry a single copy of the genome. Sporulation-associated cell division requires chromosome segregation and compaction. Here, we show that the arms of Streptomyces venezuelae chromosomes are spatially separated at entry to sporulation, but during sporogenic cell division they are closely aligned with the core region. Arm proximity is imposed by segregation protein ParB and condensin SMC. Moreover, the chromosomal terminal regions are organized into distinct domains by the Streptomyces-specific HU-family protein HupS. Thus, as seen in eukaryotes, there is substantial chromosomal remodelling during the Streptomyces life cycle, with the chromosome undergoing rearrangements from an ‘open’ to a ‘closed’ conformation.