Research Summary

An investigation of the impact of chromosome organisation on global gene expression and evolution of bacteria

Microbes rapidly adapt to their environment, be it the unique challenges posed by life in the human body, or in facing up to the plethora of toxins and nutrient shifts that they encounter everywhere. Over short timescales, they do so by changing the set of proteins and other molecules they produce, i.e. by changing gene expression states; and over longer timescales by making changes to their genetic material. At times, the two converge. We ask how large and reversible changes to the genetic material can result in gene expression alterations. Is the ability to do so hardwired in the genome?

Figure Legend: Gene expression correlations in the context of chromosome architecture. Analysis of anti-correlated gene pairs in the context of their position on the chromosome shows the presence of two large chromosomal domains: genes localised around the terminus of replication tend to show anti-correlated gene expression vectors to those located on the origin half of the chromosome. This is in contrast to the chromosomal positioning of co-expressed gene pairs, which are more likely to be present in the same half of the chromosome. This figure is adapted from (Srinivasan et al., 2014)