Reyes-Lamothe Lab

McGill University

The aim of the Reyes-Lamothe group is to reach mechanistic understanding of the replication machinery in the cellular context

The study of DNA replication by our group moves away from attempts to reconstruct intracellular conditions in vitro and instead tries obtaining relevant biochemical information directly from living cells. Studying this process in its natural environment will help further our knowledge on the composition, architecture, dynamics and interactions between the different molecular machines involved. This approach requires genetic tools for the rapid control of intracellular conditions and emerging microscopy techniques able to detect and track single molecules in live cells.

Current work is focused in understanding two key aspects of the DNA replication machine: its assembly early during the cell cycle and the mechanisms that prevent its premature disassembly prior to the completion of DNA replication. We use the genetic versatile bacterium Escherichia coli for these studies. We are also working to translate the tools and approaches used in E. coli to the study of Saccharomyces cerevisiae . These new approaches will help us to understand what is the eukaryotic replisome and how is it regulated by cells.


  • Rodrigo Reyes-Lamothe

    Principal Investigator

    • Canada Research Chair in Chromosome Biology
    • D.Phil. (University of Oxford)
    • M.Sc. (Concordia University)
    • B.Sc. (UNAM, Mexico)
  • Thomas Beattie

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    • D. Phil. (University of Oxford)
    • M. Biochem. (University of Oxford)
    • Tom currently studies the architecture of replisome in yeast and the dynamics in the bacterial replisome.
  • Ziad El Hajj

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    • Ph.D. (University of Edinburgh)
    • Ziad currently studies the initiation of replication in yeast and the mechanisms of substrate fidelity in the bacterial PolIII.
  • Vivi Ma

    Graduate Assistant

    • B.Sc. (McGill University)
    • Vivi studies initiation of DNA replication in E. coli.
  • Nitin Kapadia

    Graduate Student

    • B.Sc. (University of Toronto)
    • Nitin works to develop tools for the study of yeast using single-molecule microscopy.
  • Nicolas Soubry

    Graduate Student

    • B.Sc. (Sacred Heart University)
    • Nic studies fidelity in the bacterial replicative polymerase with the aim of exploiting this knowledge for the study of DNA replication.
  • Angela Yu

    Graduate Student

    • B.Sc. (McGill University)
    • Angela currently studies the initiation of DNA replication in yeast using super-resolution microscopy.
  • Andrea Wang

    Undergraduate Student

    • (McGill University)
    • Andrea studies the effect of DNA damage on the replisome
  • Yin Xin Ho

    Undergraduate Student

    • (McGill University)
    • Yin works on the study of primase in bacteria
  • Jia Lu (Angela)

    Undergraduate Student

    • (McGill University)
    • Angela studies the behaviour of DNA when confined in small volumes. She is co-supervised by Walter Reisner (Physics, McGill)

Lab Alumni

  • Fong Hue

    Summer Visiting Student 2015

    • ( Currently: Graduate Student at CSU Fullerton)
  • Tuo Yu (stella)

    Summer 2015

    • (Currently: Student at McGill University)
  • Xiaoyu Wei

    Winter 2015

    • (McGill University Graduate)
  • Harsh Aurora

    Fall 2014-Winter 2015

    • (Currently: Graduate Student, McGill University)
  • Alina Phen

    Fall 2014

    • (Currently: Student at McGill University)
  • Chloe Pou-Prom

    Summer 2014

    • (Currently: Student at McGill University)

Recent Publications

  1. Beattie T, Reyes-Lamothe R (2015) Replisome’s journey through the bacterial chromosome. Frontiers in Microbiology 6: 562. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00562
  2. Moolman, M. C., Krishnan S. T., Kerssemakers J. W., van den Berg A., Tulinski P., Depken M., Reyes-Lamothe R., Sherratt D. J. and Dekker N. H. (2014) Slow unloading leads to DNA-bound beta2-sliding clamp accumulation in live Escherichia coli cells. Nat Commun 5: 5820.
  3. Reyes-Lamothe R, Tran T, Meas D, Lee L, Li AM, Sherratt DJ, Tolmasky ME (2014). High-copy bacterial plasmids diffuse in the nucleoid-free space, replicate stochastically and are randomly partitioned at cell division. Nucleic Acids Res. 42, 1042-51.
  4. El-Hajj ZW, Reyes-Lamothe R, & Newman EB (2013). Cell division, one-carbon metabolism and methionine synthesis in a metK-deficient Escherichia coli mutant, and a role for MmuM. Microbiology 159, 2036-2048.
  5. Uphoff, S., Reyes-Lamothe, R., Garza de Leon, F., Sherratt, D.J., Kapanidis, A.N. (2013). Single-molecule DNA repair in live bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110, 8063-8068.
  6. Badrinarayanan, A., Reyes-Lamothe, R., Uphoff, S., Leake, M.C., and Sherratt, D.J. (2012). In vivo architecture and action of bacterial structural maintenance of chromosome proteins. Science 338, 528-531.
  7. Reyes-Lamothe, R., Nicolas, E., and Sherratt, D.J. (2012). Chromosome Replication and Segregation in Bacteria. Annu Rev Genet 46, 121-143.
  8. Badrinarayanan, A., Lesterlin, C., Reyes-Lamothe, R., and Sherratt, D. (2012). The Escherichia coli SMC Complex, MukBEF, Shapes Nucleoid Organization Independently of DNA Replication. J Bacteriol 194, 4669-4676.
  9. Tran, T., Andres, P., Petroni, A., Soler-Bistue, A., Albornoz, E., Zorreguieta, A., Reyes-Lamothe, R., Sherratt, D.J., Corso, A., and Tolmasky, M.E. (2012). Small plasmids harboring qnrB19: a model for plasmid evolution mediated by site-specific recombination at oriT and Xer sites. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy 56, 1821-1827.
  10. Reyes-Lamothe, R. (2012). Use of Fluorescently Tagged SSB Proteins in In Vivo Localization Experiments. Methods Mol Biol 922, 245-253.
  11. Wang, X., Lesterlin, C., Reyes-Lamothe, R., Ball, G., and Sherratt, D.J. (2011). Replication and segregation of an Escherichia coli chromosome with two replication origins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108, E243-250.
  12. Gonzalez-Silva, N., Lopez-Lara, I.M., Reyes-Lamothe, R., Taylor, A.M., Sumpton, D., Thomas-Oates, J., and Geiger, O. (2011). The dioxygenase-encoding olsD gene from Burkholderia cenocepacia causes the hydroxylation of the amide-linked fatty acyl moiety of ornithine-containing membrane lipids. Biochemistry 50, 6396-6408.
  13. Reyes-Lamothe, R., Sherratt, D.J., and Leake, M.C. (2010). Stoichiometry and architecture of active DNA replication machinery in Escherichia coli. Science 328, 498-501.

For a complete list of publications click in here


We look for highly motivated students with biology, physics, computational or chemistry backgrounds aiming to enroll in a MSc or PhD program. Enquiries with CV and one-page research proposal are welcome.

Dr. Rodrigo Reyes-Lamothe

Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3G 0B1, Canada
Tel: (514) 398-5137   Fax: (514) 398-5069