Chromosome Conformation

The nature and structure of archaeal chromosomes have been enigmatic for decades. Recently, we have adapted chromosome conformation capture technologies coupled with next-generation sequencing to provide the first descriptions of archaeal chromosome architecture. Our work revealed that Sulfolobus chromosomes have multiple scales of organization; ranging from  compartmentalization (100 - 1000 kb scale), through local chromosome interaction domains (10s- 100s of kb) to locus-specific loop structures. Our ongoing work is investigating the machineries that effect these levels of organization and their dynamic regulation during cell growth.

Hi-C contact maps revealing chromosome compartments

3C contact plots and directional preference plots idenitifying chromosome interaction domains and their boundaries



Key Publications

C. Badel, R.Y. Samson and S.D. Bell (2022) “The influence of chromosome organization on genome evolution in Sulfolobus archaea” Nature Microbiology, 7, 820-830


N. Takemata and S.D. Bell (2021) “Multi-scale architecture of archaeal chromosomes” Molecular Cell, 81, 473-487


N. Takemata, R.Y. Samson and S.D. Bell (2019) “Physical and functional compartmentalization of archaeal chromosomes”. Cell, 179, 165-179