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Nutritional stress induces exchange of cell material and energetic coupling between bacterial species

Abstract : Knowledge of the behaviour of bacterial communities is crucial for understanding biogeochemical cycles and developing environmental biotechnology. Here we demonstrate the formation of an artificial consortium between two anaerobic bacteria, Clostridium acetobutylicum (Gram-positive) and Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough (Gram-negative, sulfate-reducing) in which physical interactions between the two partners induce emergent properties. Molecular and cellular approaches show that tight cell-cell interactions are associated with an exchange of molecules, including proteins, which allows the growth of one partner (D. vulgaris) in spite of the shortage of nutrients. This physical interaction induces changes in expression of two genes encoding enzymes at the pyruvate crossroads, with concomitant changes in the distribution of metabolic fluxes, and allows a substantial increase in hydrogen production without requiring genetic engineering. The stress induced by the shortage of nutrients of D. vulgaris appears to trigger the interaction.
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Saida Benomar, David Ranava, María Luz Cárdenas, Eric Trably, Yan Rafrafi, et al.. Nutritional stress induces exchange of cell material and energetic coupling between bacterial species. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, 6 (6283), 10 p. ⟨10.1038/ncomms7283⟩. ⟨hal-01159245⟩

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