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Title says it all, I must be going crazy.

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Several answers to this question:

  1. Much of the time what bacteria are doing to repair DSBs is actually non-homologous end-joining, which does not require strict homology. This is the more likely mechanism earlier in the cell cycle when copy number is more likely to be ~1.

  2. If cells have completed DNA replication (later in the cell cycle), there are at minimum 2 copies of all DNAs present in the cell. These can be used for homologous recombination.

  3. Bacterial chromosome copy number can be overreplicated in some situations, such that DNA replication is not synchronized to the cell cycle and is more than normal for a cell. In these situations copy number can be >2.

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