Chromosome Segregation and Peptidoglycan Remodeling Are Coordinated at a Highly Stabilized Septal Pore to Maintain Bacterial Spore Development

Ahmed Mohamed, Helena Chan, Johana Luhur, Elda Bauda, Benoit Gallet, Cécile Morlot, Louise Cole, Milena Awad, Simon Crawford, Dena Lyras, David Z. Rudner, Christopher D.A. Rodrigues

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Asymmetric division, a hallmark of endospore development, generates two cells, a larger mother cell and a smaller forespore. Approximately 75% of the forespore chromosome must be translocated across the division septum into the forespore by the DNA translocase SpoIIIE. Asymmetric division also triggers cell-specific transcription, which initiates septal peptidoglycan remodeling involving synthetic and hydrolytic enzymes. How these processes are coordinated has remained a mystery. Using Bacillus subtilis, we identified factors that revealed the link between chromosome translocation and peptidoglycan remodeling. In cells lacking these factors, the asymmetric septum retracts, resulting in forespore cytoplasmic leakage and loss of DNA translocation. Importantly, these phenotypes depend on septal peptidoglycan hydrolysis. Our data support a model in which SpoIIIE is anchored at the edge of a septal pore, stabilized by newly synthesized peptidoglycan and protein-protein interactions across the septum. Together, these factors ensure coordination between chromosome translocation and septal peptidoglycan remodeling to maintain spore development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-51.e5
Number of pages21
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2021


  • cell wall
  • chromosome segregation
  • chromosome translocation
  • development
  • endospores
  • peptidoglycan
  • SpoIIIE
  • spores
  • sporulation

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