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J Bacteriol. Aug 1967; 94(2): 415–421.
PMCID: PMC315056
Segregation of Deoxyribonucleic Acid in Bacteria: Association of the Segregating Unit with the Cell Envelope
Ning-Chun Chai and Karl G. Lark
Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66502
Abstract
Cells of the gram-positive organism Lactobacillus acidophilus R-26 were labeled with 3H-thymine to measure the segregation of radioactive deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into daugher cells. Such cells were found to contain 8 conserved units of DNA which would correspond to two replicating chromosomes per cell. Fluorescent antibody (FA) against this organism was used to demonstrate that portions of the cell surface (2 to 4 units per cell) were conserved during growth and division. The permanent association of DNA with these conserved cell surface units was measured by combining autoradiography with FA techniques. DNA synthesized immediately before FA labeling was not associated with the fluorescent cell surface, whereas DNA synthesized a generation previously was. The results are consistent with a model in which DNA becomes permanently fixed to the cell surface when it is first used as a template.
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