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Contrasting mechanisms of growth in two model rod-shaped bacteria

Abstract : How cells control their shape and size is a long-standing question in cell biology. Many rod-shaped bacteria elongate their sidewalls by the action of cell wall synthesizing machineries that are associated to actin-like MreB cortical patches. However, little is known about how elongation is regulated to enable varied growth rates and sizes. Here we use total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and single-particle tracking to visualize MreB isoforms, as a proxy for cell wall synthesis, in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli cells growing in different media and during nutrient upshift. We find that these two model organisms appear to use orthogonal strategies to adapt to growth regime variations: B. subtilis regulates MreB patch speed, while E. coli may mainly regulate the production capacity of MreB-associated cell wall machineries. We present numerical models that link MreB-mediated sidewall synthesis and cell elongation, and argue that the distinct regulatory mechanism employed might reflect the different cell wall integrity constraints in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 25, 2020 - 9:12:55 PM
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Cyrille Billaudeau, Arnaud Chastanet, Zhizhong Yao, Charlène Cornilleau, Nicolas Mirouze, et al.. Contrasting mechanisms of growth in two model rod-shaped bacteria. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 8, ⟨10.1038/ncomms15370⟩. ⟨hal-02619986⟩



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