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The birth and the development of molecular biology and, subsequently, of genetic engineering and biotechnology cannot be separated from the advancements in our knowledge of the genetics, biochemistry and physiology of bacteria and bacter- phages. Also most of the tools employed nowadays by biotechnologists are of bacterial (or bacteriophage) origin and the playground for most of the DNA manipulations still remains within bacteria. The relative simplicity of the bacterial cell, the short gene- tion times, the well defined and inexpensive culturing conditions which characterize bacteria and the auto-catalytic process whereby a wealth of in-depth information has been accumulated throughout the years have significantly contributed to generate a large number of knowledge-based, reliable and exploitable biological systems. The subtle relationships between phages and their hosts have produced a large amount of information and allowed the identification and characterization of a number of components which play essential roles in fundamental biological p- cesses such as DNA duplication, recombination, transcription and translation. For instance, to remain within the topic of this book, two important players in the or- nization of the nucleoid, FIS and IHF, have been discovered in this way. Indeed, it is difficult to find a single fundamental biological process whose structural and functional aspects are better known than in bacteria.
Preface Claudio O. Gualerzi Structure and organization of the bacterial chromosome Remus T. Dame 'Ultrastructure and organization of bacterial chromosomes' William Margolin 'Imaging the bacterial nucleoid' Peter L. Graumann 'The chromosome segregation machinery in bacteria' Finbarr Hayes and Daniela Barillà 'Extrachromosomal components of the nucleoid: recent developments in deciphering the molecular basis of plasmid segregation' Conrad Woldringh 'Nucleoid structure and segregation' Suckjoon Jun 'Physics of nucleoid structure and chromosome segregation' N. Patrick Higgins, Betty M. Booker and Dipankar Manna 'Molecular structure and dynamics of bacterial nucleoids' Ümit Pul and Rolf Wagner 'Nucleoid-associated proteins: structural properties' Hanne Ingmer 'Dps and bacterial chromatin' Chromatin organization in archaea and eukaryotes Stephen D. Bell & Malcolm F. White 'Archaeal chromatin organization' Andrew Travers and Georgi Muskhelishvili 'The topology and organization of eukaryotic chromatin' Regulation by nucleoid-associated proteins Charles J. Dorman 'Bacterial chromatin and gene regulation' William W. Navarre 'H-NS as a defense system' Georgi Muskhelishvili and Andrew Travers 'FIS and nucleoid dynamics upon exit from lag phase' Stacey N. Peterson and Norbert O. Reich 'LRP: a nucleoid-associated protein with gene regulatory function' Amalia Muñoz, Marc Valls and Víctor de Lorenzo 'Extreme DNA bending: molecular basis of the regulatory breadth of IHF' Dale E. A. Lewis, Sang Jun Lee and Sankar Adhya 'Role of HU in regulation of galpromoters' Douglas F. Browning, David C. Grainger, Meng Xu and Stephen J.W. Busby 'Transcriptional regulation by nucleoid-associated proteins at complex promoters in Escherichia coli'.
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