Not quite dead enough: on bacterial life, culturability, senescence, and death

Authors
Citation
T. Nystrom, Not quite dead enough: on bacterial life, culturability, senescence, and death, ARCH MICROB, 176(3), 2001, pp. 159-164
Citations number
41
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Microbiology
Journal title
ARCHIVES OF MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN journal
0302-8933 → ACNP
Volume
176
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
159 - 164
Database
ISI
SICI code
0302-8933(200109)176:3<159:NQDEOB>2.0.ZU;2-Q
Abstract
A number of regulatory networks are functionally integrated in starving cel ls of Escherichia coli to reduce oxidation of target macromolecules and to enhance the cell's ability to withstand environmental insults. However, des pite the fact that starving wild-type E. coli cells enhance their capacity to manage oxidative stress, the proteins of these cells become increasingly oxidized and the cells gradually lose their ability to reproduce. Indeed, it has been argued that starved and growth-arrested bacterial cells show th e same signs of senescence as aging cells of higher organisms and that free radicals may be involved in the gradual loss of bacterial culturability ob served in a stationary phase culture. Another model suggests that the appar ent loss of viability of starved cells is a programmed and adaptive respons e in which the cells enter a reversible non-culturable state; the theory of the formation of viable but non-culturable cells. Recent data concerning t he physiology and biochemistry of starved E. coli cells favor the model tha t starvation-induced loss of culturability is the result of stochastic dete rioration rather than a programmed and adaptive phenomenon, and these data will be reviewed here.