Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.00947
Title: Mild nutrient starvation triggers the development of a small-cell survival morphotype in mycobacteria
Authors: Wu, M.-L 
Gengenbacher, M 
Dick, T 
Keywords: 4',6 diamidino 2 phenylindole
adenosine triphosphate
acid fast staining
Article
bacterial strain
bacterium examination
breathing rate
cell size
cell surface
cell survival
cell viability assay
colony forming unit
controlled study
drug tolerance
fluorescence microscopy
metabolism
morphotype
Mycobacterium
nonhuman
nutrient
scanning electron microscopy
starvation
stress
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Wu, M.-L, Gengenbacher, M, Dick, T (2016). Mild nutrient starvation triggers the development of a small-cell survival morphotype in mycobacteria. Frontiers in Microbiology 7 (JUN) : 947. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.00947
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Mycobacteria, generally believed to be non-sporulating, are well known to survive shock starvation in saline for extended periods of time in a non-replicating state without any apparent morphological changes. Here, we uncover that mycobacteria can undergo cellular differentiation by exposing Mycobacterium smegmatis to mild starvation conditions. Traces of various carbon sources in saline triggered the development of a novel small resting cell (SMRC) morphotype. Development of SMRCs could also be observed for other mycobacteria, suggesting evolutionary conservation of this differentiation pathway. Fluorescence microscopic analyses showed that development of SMRCs progresses via septated, multi-nucleoided cell intermediates, which divide to generate mono-nucleoided SMRCs. Intriguingly, saline shock-starved large resting cells (LARCs), which did not show cell size or surface changes when observed by scanning electron microscopy, remodeled their internal structure to septated, multi-nucleoided cells, similar to the intermediates seen during differentiation to SMRCs. Our results suggest that mycobacteria harbor a starvation-induced differentiation program in which at first septated, multi-nucleoided cells are generated. Under zero-nutrient conditions bacteria terminate development at this stage as LARCs. In the presence of traces of a carbon source, these multi-nucleoided cells continue differentiation into mono-nucleoided SMRCs. Both SMRCs and LARCs exhibited extreme antibiotic tolerance. SMRCs showed increased long-term starvation survival, which was associated with the presence of lipid inclusion bodies. © 2016 Wu, Gengenbacher and Dick.
Source Title: Frontiers in Microbiology
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/179970
ISSN: 1664302X
DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00947
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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