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Since most archaea are extremophilic and difficult to cultivate, our current knowledge of their biology is confined largely to comparative genomics and biochemistry. Haloferax volcanii offers great promise as a model organism for archaeal genetics, but until now there has been a lack of a wide variety of selectable markers for this organism. We describe(More)
Chromosome duplication normally initiates through the assembly of replication fork complexes at defined origins. DNA synthesis by any one fork is thought to cease when it meets another travelling in the opposite direction, at which stage the replication machinery may simply dissociate before the nascent strands are finally ligated. But what actually happens(More)
Duplication and transmission of chromosomes require precise control of chromosome replication and segregation. Here we present evidence that RecG is a major factor influencing these processes in bacteria. We show that the extensive DnaA-independent stable DNA replication observed without RecG can lead to replication of any area of the chromosome. This(More)
Little is known about what happens when forks meet to complete DNA replication in any organism. In this study we present data suggesting that the collision of replication forks is a potential threat to genomic stability. We demonstrate that Escherichia coli cells lacking RecG helicase suffer major defects in chromosome replication following UV irradiation,(More)
RecG is a DNA translocase that helps to maintain genomic integrity. Initial studies suggested a role in promoting recombination, a possibility consistent with synergism between recG and ruv null alleles and reinforced when the protein was shown to unwind Holliday junctions. In this article we describe novel suppressors of recG and show that the pathology(More)
RecG differs from most helicases acting on branched DNA in that it is thought to catalyze unwinding via translocation of a monomer on dsDNA, with a wedge domain facilitating strand separation. Conserved phenylalanines in the wedge are shown to be critical for DNA binding. When detached from the helicase domains, the wedge bound a Holliday junction with high(More)
We have discovered a correlation between the ability of Escherichia coli cells to survive damage to DNA and their ability to modulate RNA polymerase via the stringent response regulators, (p)ppGpp. Elevation of (p)ppGpp, or certain mutations in the beta subunit of RNA polymerase, dramatically improve survival of UV-irradiated strains lacking the RuvABC(More)
Nucleoprotein complexes present challenges to genome stability by acting as potent blocks to replication. One attractive model of how such conflicts are resolved is direct targeting of blocked forks by helicases with the ability to displace the blocking protein-DNA complex. We show that Rep and UvrD each promote movement of E. coli replisomes blocked by(More)
Manipulations of the DNA double helix during replication, transcription and other nucleic acid processing cause a change of DNA topology, which results in torsional stress. This stress is relaxed by DNA topoisomerases, a class of enzymes present in all domains of life. Negatively supercoiled DNA is relaxed by type IA topoisomerases that are widespread in(More)