A genome is not a simple collection of genes. We propose here that it can be viewed as being organized as a ;‘celluloculus’ similar to the homunculus of preformists, but pertaining to the category of programmes (or algorithms) rather than to that of architectures or structures: a significant correlation exists between the distribution of genes along the chromosome and the physical architecture of the cell. W e review here data supporting this observation, stressing physical constraints operating on the cell's architecture and dynamics, and their consequences in terms of gene and genome structure. If such a correlation exists, it derives from some selection pressure: simple and general physical principles acting at the level of the cell structure are discussed. As a first case in point we see the piling up of planar modules as a stable, entropy–driven, architectural principle that could be at the root of the coupling between the architecture of the cell and the location of genes at specific places in the chromosome. W e propose that the specific organization of certain genes whose products have a general tendency to form easily planar modules is a general motor for architectural organization in the bacterial cell. A second mechanism, operating at the transcription level, is described that could account for the efficient building up of complex structures. As an organizing principle we suggest that exploration by biological polymers of the vast space of possible conformation states is constrained by anchoring points. In particular, we suggest that transcription does not always allow the 5′–end of the transcript to go free and explore the many conformations available, but that, in many cases, it remains linked to the transcribing RNA polymerase complex in such a way that loops of RNA, rather than threads with a free end, explore the surrounding medium. In bacteria, extension of the loops throughout the cytoplasm would therefore be mediated by the de novo synthesis of ribosomes in growing cells. Termination of transcription and mRNA turnover would accordingly be expected to be controlled by sequence features at both the 3′– and 5′–ends of the molecule. These concepts are discussed taking into account in vitro analysis of genome sequences and experimental data about cell compartmentalization, mRNA folding and turnover, as well as known structural features of protein and membrane complexes.