Dynamic global nucleoid cycles. We have discovered that the E.coli nucleoid undergoes cyclic increases and decreases in length, in correlation with basic events of the chromosome cycle, throughout the entire cell cycle (Fisher et al., 2013; M. Stouf, unpublished). We are investigating the physical and molecular basis for these cycles and the details of their role(s) in promoting chromosomal events and in coordination of the chromosome cycle with cell division and growth rate.
Nucleoid/membrane interactions. We are also using L-forms (bacteria without cell walls) to explore the roles of spatial confinement on nucleoid dynamics and to pursue the nature and roles of E.coli nucleoid/membrane interactions for segregation. Our working hypothesis is that nucleoid dynamics, via nucleoid membrane/cell wall interactions, creates tension at the nascent septum site to trigger cell division.
Other Research Interests