Reyes-Lamothe Lab

McGill University

The aim of the Reyes-Lamothe group is to reach mechanistic understanding of the action and regulation of the replication machinery within 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, in order to obtain a more complete picture of the composition of replisome in eukaryotic cells.


  • Rodrigo Reyes-Lamothe

    Principal Investigator

    • Canada Research Chair in Chromosome Biology, Tier 2
    • 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 studies the architecture of replisome in yeast.
  • Vivi Ma

    Research 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.
  • Angela Yu

    Summer Student

    • (McGill University)
    • Angela is developing genetic tools for the study of DNA replication in yeast
  • Chloe Pou-Prom

    Summer Student

    • (McGill University)
    • Chloe is working on protocols to analyse single-molecule data from bacteria


  1. Reyes-Lamothe R, Tran T, Meas D, Lee L, Li AM, Sherratt DJ, Tolmasky ME (2013). 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reyes-Lamothe, R., Nicolas, E., and Sherratt, D.J. (2012). Chromosome Replication and Segregation in Bacteria. Annu Rev Genet 46, 121-143.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Reyes-Lamothe, R. (2012). Use of Fluorescently Tagged SSB Proteins in In Vivo Localization Experiments. Methods Mol Biol 922, 245-253.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Liu, X., Wang, X., Reyes-Lamothe, R., and Sherratt, D. (2010). Replication-directed sister chromosome alignment in Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol 75, 1090-1097.
  13. Wang, X., Reyes-Lamothe, R., and Sherratt, D.J. (2008). Visualizing genetic loci and molecular machines in living bacteria. Biochemical Society transactions 36, 749-753.
  14. Wang, X., Reyes-Lamothe, R., and Sherratt, D.J. (2008). Modulation of Escherichia coli sister chromosome cohesion by topoisomerase IV. Genes & development 22, 2426-2433.
  15. Reyes-Lamothe, R., Wang, X., and Sherratt, D. (2008). Escherichia coli and its chromosome. Trends in microbiology 16, 238-245.
  16. Reyes-Lamothe, R., Possoz, C., Danilova, O., and Sherratt, D.J. (2008). Independent positioning and action of Escherichia coli replisomes in live cells. Cell 133, 90-102.
  17. Danilova, O., Reyes-Lamothe, R., Pinskaya, M., Sherratt, D., and Possoz, C. (2007). MukB colocalizes with the oriC region and is required for organization of the two Escherichia coli chromosome arms into separate cell halves. Mol Microbiol 65, 1485-1492.


We look for highly motivated students 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