Nutrient starved Escherichia coli – Biologisk Institut - Københavns Universitet

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Nutrient starved Escherichia coli

Speaker: Professor Ramesh Wigneshweraraj, Department of Medicine, University College London, UK
Host: Professor Kenn Gerdes, BASP, Section for Functional Genomics

Conditions that sustain constant bacterial growth are seldom found in nature. Bacterial growth is often limited by availability of nutrients; soil, water, and even host environments such as macrophages can lack essential nutrients to support growth. Hence, many bacteria spend the majority of their time in states of little or no growth because they are starved of essential nutrients. The nutrient-starved and growth-attenuated state is now widely considered as an important physiological state in bacterial pathogenesis and survival and is thus an area of intense research. The adaptive responses that allow bacteria to cope with and survive nutrient starvation primarily manifest themselves through large-scale changes in the transcriptome. Although the bacterial transcriptional responses during growth transitions and transient growth arrests (e.g. during diauxic growth) have been widely studied in Escherichia coli, we do not understand how bacteria – of any species – adjust their transcriptome during sustained nutrient starvation to optimize their chances of survival. Using nitrogen starvation as a model nutrient starvation condition, I will present results from systems and molecular levels analyses which illuminates how E. coli adapts its transcriptome to N starvation and the phenotypic consequences of dysregulation of this process.