Consequences of replication fork movement through transcription units in vivo

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Science  20 Nov 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5086, pp. 1362-1365
DOI: 10.1126/science.1455232


To examine the basis for the evolutionary selection for codirectionality of replication and transcription in Escherichia coli, electron microscopy was used to visualize replication from an inducible ColE1 replication origin inserted into the Escherichia coli chromosome upstream (5') or downstream (3') of rrnB, a ribosomal RNA operon. Active rrnB operons were replicated either in the same direction in which they were transcribed or in the opposite direction. In either direction, RNA polymerases were dislodged during replication. When replication and transcription were codirectional, the rate of replication fork movement was similar to that observed in nontranscribed regions. When replication and transcription occurred in opposite directions, replication fork movement was reduced.