Indexed on: 11 Jun '14Published on: 11 Jun '14Published in: Journal of bacteriology
Numerous free-living bacteria undergo complex differentiation in response to unfavorable environmental conditions or as part of their natural cell cycle. Developmental programs require the de novo expression of several sets of genes responsible for morphological, physiological, and metabolic changes, such as spore/endospore formation, the generation of flagella, and the synthesis of antibiotics. Notably, the frequency of chromosomal replication initiation events must also be adjusted with respect to the developmental stage in order to ensure that each nascent cell receives a single copy of the chromosomal DNA. In this review, we focus on the master transcriptional factors, Spo0A, CtrA, and AdpA, which coordinate developmental program and which were recently demonstrated to control chromosome replication. We summarize the current state of knowledge on the role of these developmental regulators in synchronizing the replication with cell differentiation in Bacillus subtilis, Caulobacter crescentus, and Streptomyces coelicolor, respectively.