Conformation and segregation
of the bacterial chromosome


Since the nucleoid was isolated from bacteria in the 1970s, two fundamental questions emerged and are still in the spotlight: how bacteria organize their chromosomes to fit inside the cell and how this nucleoid organization enables essential biological processes. During the last decades, the knowledge on bacterial chromosome organization advanced considerably and today, chromosomes are considered as highly organized and dynamic structures that are shaped by multiple factors in a multiscale manner. Chromosome folding and compaction results from a combination of processes, including DNA supercoiling, the formation of the bacterial chromatin composed of nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) bound to DNA, the condensation by structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) complexes, macromolecular crowding, out-of-equilibrium processes such as replication and transcription, and the interaction with cellular structures.

Our model systems

Research highlights

In our lab, we use several bacterial model species to uncover the role of factors involved in the establishment of the multilayer organization of chromosome. We study not only the classical well-known factors involved in chromosome organization but also novel components that have been shown, recently, to dynamically shape the 3D structuring of the bacterial chromosomes. We focus on the different functional elements that control short-range organization and describe how they collaborate for the establishment of the higher-order folding and disposition of the chromosome.



Frédéric Boccard

Group Leader

Research Director

Stéphanie BURY-MONE


Stéphane DUIGOU




Virginia LIOY



M2 student


Postdoctoral researcher

Mohammed SEBA

PhD student

Isabelle VALLET


Latest publications


Virginia Lioy, Ivan Junier, Frédéric Boccard. 2021. Multiscale dynamic structuring of bacterial chromosomes. Annual Review of Microbiology. In press.


Anna Anchimiuk, Virginia S. Lioy, Anita Minnen, Frédéric Boccard, Stephan Gruber. 2020
Fine-tuning of the Smc flux facilitates chromosome organization in B. subtilis
bioRxiv 2020.12.04.411900; doi:

For all the publications of the Team click on the button below.

External funding

ANR PRC 2020-2022 Pseudo-SMC

ANR JCJC 2021-2024 SaDI

ARC 2018-2021

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