The SpoOJA and SpoOJB proteins of Bacillus subtilis are similar to the ParA and ParB plasmid-partitioning proteins, respectively, and mutation of spoOJB prevents the expression of stage II genes of sporulation. This phenotype is a consequence of SpoOJA activity in the absence of SpoOJB, and its basis was unknown. In the studies reported here, SpoOJA was found specifically to dissociate transcription initiation complexes formed in vitro by the phosphorylated sporulation transcription factor SpoOA and RNA polymerase with the spollG promoter. This repressor-like activity is likely to be the basis for preventing the onset of differentiation in vivo. SpoOJB is known to neutralize SpoOJA activity in vivo and also to interact with a mitotic-like apparatus responsible for chromosome partitioning. These data suggest that SpoOJA and SpoOJB form a regulatory link between chromosome partition and development gene expression.