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Abstract

Since Jacques Monod's foundational work in the 1940s, investigators studying bacterial physiology have largely (but not exclusively) focused on the exponential phase of bacterial cultures, which is characterized by rapid growth and high biosynthesis activity in the presence of excess nutrients. However, this is not the predominant state of bacterial life. In nature, most bacteria experience nutrient limitation most of the time. In fact, investigators even prior to Monod had identified other aspects of bacterial growth, including what is now known as the stationary phase, when nutrients become limiting. This review will discuss how bacteria transition to growth arrest in response to nutrient limitation through changes in transcription, translation, and metabolism. We will then examine how these changes facilitate survival during potentially extended periods of nutrient limitation, with particular attention to the metabolic strategies that underpin bacterial longevity in this state.

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2022-09-08
2024-04-21
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