Chromosome Structure

In collaboration with the Kleckner group, the Prentiss group studied chromosome structure.  Surprisingly, chromosomes in cells are not uniformly distributed within the space, instead they have quite compact structures.  In particular, some chromosomes form a helical structure that leaves open space for replication.

Iso-intensity PyMOL reconstruction of a G1 nucleoid
Iso-intensity PyMOL reconstruction of a G1 nucleoid, alone and with cell midplane outline (total signal (blue) and 50% and 20% of total signal (red and white)). The helical ellipsoid fills the cell radially but does not contact the cell at its new pole end. Radially-decreasing signal intensity suggests radially-decreasing density, subject to imaging resolution limits.