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Medium-dependent control of the bacterial growth rate
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Structure and Molecular Biology.
2013 (English)In: Biochimie, ISSN 0300-9084, E-ISSN 1638-6183, Vol. 95, no 4, 643-658 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By combining results from previous studies of nutritional up-shifts we here re-investigate how bacteria adapt to different nutritional environments by adjusting their macromolecular composition for optimal growth. We demonstrate that, in contrast to a commonly held view the macromolecular composition of bacteria does not depend on the growth rate as an independent variable, but on three factors: (i) the genetic background (i.e. the strain used), (ii) the physiological history of the bacteria used for inoculation of a given growth medium, and (iii) the kind of nutrients in the growth medium. These factors determine the ribosome concentration and the average rate of protein synthesis per ribosome, and thus the growth rate. Immediately after a nutritional up-shift, the average number of ribosomes in the bacterial population increases exponentially with time at a rate which eventually is attained as the final post-shift growth rate of all cell components. After a nutritional up-shift from one minimal medium to another minimal medium of higher nutritional quality, ribosome and RNA polymerase syntheses are co-regulated and immediately increase by the same factor equal to the increase in the final growth rate. However, after an up-shift from a minimal medium to a medium containing all 20 amino acids, RNA polymerase and ribosome syntheses are no longer coregulated; a smaller rate of synthesis of RNA polymerase is compensated by a gradual increase in the fraction of free RNA polymerase, possibly due to a gradual saturation of mRNA promoters. We have also analyzed data from a recent publication, in which it was concluded that the macromolecular composition in terms of RNA/protein and RNA/DNA ratios is solely determined by the effector molecule ppGpp. Our analysis indicates that this is true only in special cases and that, in general, medium adaptation also depends on factors other than ppGpp.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 95, no 4, 643-658 p.
Keyword [en]
E. coli, Ribosomes, RNA polymerase, rrn, ppGpp, Fis
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198714DOI: 10.1016/j.biochi.2012.11.012ISI: 000316513100002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-198714DiVA: diva2:617943
Available from: 2013-04-25 Created: 2013-04-23 Last updated: 2013-04-25Bibliographically approved

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