Differential action and differential expression of DNA polymerase I during Escherichia coli colony development.

Shapiro JA
J Bacteriol (1992), Volume 174, Page 7262
PubMed entry Full article text


A mini-Tn10 insertion in the polA cistron (polA2099) was isolated in a ...
A mini-Tn10 insertion in the polA cistron (polA2099) was isolated in a search for mutations that affect patterned Mudlac replication in colonies. The polA2099 mutation had a dramatic effect on cell morphogenesis during the first few hours of microcolony development. Abnormal microcolonies containing filamentous cells were produced as a result of SOS induction. Despite gross abnormalities in early microcolonies, mature polA2099 colonies after 2 to 4 days were morphologically indistinguishable from Pol+ colonies, and 44-h polA2099 colonies displayed a cell size distribution very similar to that of Pol+ colonies. These results suggested the involvement of a protective factor produced during colony growth that compensated for the polA deficiency. The action of a diffusible substance that stimulates growth of polA2099 microcolonies was shown by spotting dilute polA2099 cultures next to established colonies. Differential transcription of polA during colony development was visualized by growing colonies containing polA-lacZ fusions on beta-galactosidase indicator agar. When polA-lacZ colonies were inoculated next to established colonies, a diffusible factor was seen to inhibit polA transcription during the earliest stages of colony development. These results show that a basic housekeeping function, DNA polymerase I, is subject to multicellular control by the changing conditions which the bacteria create as they proliferate on agar.




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