PMID: 2818131Jan 1, 1989

Unbalanced growth as a normal feature of development of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Archives of Microbiology
K M Gray, E G Ruby


In this study we have investigated the rates and spatial patterns of chromosome replication and cell elongation during the growth phase of wild-type facultatively prey-independent mutant strains of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. For the facultatively prey-independent mutants, the total DNA content of synchronously growing cultures was found to increase exponentially, as the multiple chromosomes within each filamentous cell replicated simultaneously. Cell mass, measured as total cellular protein, also increased exponentially during this period, apparently by means of multiple elongation sites along the filament wall. The relative rates of DNA and protein synthesis were unbalanced during growth, however, with the cellular concentration of DNA increasing slightly faster than that of protein. The original cellular DNA: protein ratio was restored in the progeny cells by continued protein synthesis during the septation period that follows the termination of DNA replication. Because of technical problems, these experiments could not be conducted on the wild-type cells, but similar results are assumed. This unusual pattern of unbalanced growth may represent an adaptation by bdellovibrios to maximize their progeny yield from the determinat...Continue Reading


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