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Bacteria must control the progression of their cell cycle in response to nutrient availability. This regulation can be mediated by guanosine tetra- or pentaphosphate [(p)ppGpp], which are synthesized by enzymes of the RelA/SpoT homologue (Rsh) family, particularly under starvation conditions. Here, we study the effects of (p)ppGpp on the cell cycle of Caulobacter crescentus, an oligotrophic bacterium with a dimorphic life cycle. C. crescentus divides asymmetrically, producing a motile swarmer cell that cannot replicate its chromosome and a sessile stalked cell that is replication competent. The swarmer cell rapidly differentiates into a stalked cell in appropriate conditions. An artificial increase in the levels of (p)ppGpp in nonstarved C. crescentus cells was achieved by expressing a truncated relA gene from Escherichia coli, encoding a constitutively active (p)ppGpp synthetase. By combining single-cell microscopy …
American Society for Microbiology Journals
Publication date: 
15 Jul 2014

Diego Gonzalez, Justine Collier

Biblio References: 
Volume: 196 Issue: 14 Pages: 2514-2525
Journal of bacteriology