Author(s): Mller S, Bley T, Babel W
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Abstract Results obtained by flow cytometry allow conclusions to be drawn about how the physiological states of Ralstsonia eutropha JMP134 are connected with survival strategies under distinct growth conditions. During both feast and famine conditions the cells were found to proceed through sharply separated phases of life. Two sources of carbon and energy, one poor (0.02\% phenol) and one rich (0.2\% pyruvate and 0.1\% yeast extract) were chosen to study the cellular responses. Despite the major differences in carbon source, when growth stages of the bacteria on the two substrates were characterised in batch growth, only minor differences were found in the time course of the membrane potential related fluorescence intensity (MPRFI). This also applied to the rRNA content and the size-correlated forward scatter (FSC) signal of the cells, both of which increased to high levels during the (early) exponential growth phase. On the rich medium, DNA synthesis initially occurred in an uncoupled manner, then a high rate of PHB formation followed when nutrients began to be limiting. Under famine conditions, the cellular responses were much more complex. PHB was synthesised, then DNA synthesis occurred in a 'eukaryotic' mode, to be succeeded by renewed PHB synthesis. To obtain defined cell physiological states, the chemostat technique was used in addition to batch experiments. The results obtained clearly indicated that key events in cell physiology, including initiation of DNA replication and overflow metabolism, occurred in a hierarchically ordered manner and were tightly correlated with changes in the environmental conditions of the bacterial cells.
This article was published in J Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation