skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Shi, Handuo"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    The steady-state size of bacterial cells correlates with nutrient-determined growth rate. Here, we explore how rod-shaped bacterial cells regulate their morphology during rapid environmental changes. We quantify cellular dimensions throughout passage cycles of stationary-phase cells diluted into fresh medium and grown back to saturation. We find that cells exhibit characteristic dynamics in surface area to volume ratio (SA/V), which are conserved across genetic and chemical perturbations as well as across species and growth temperatures. A mathematical model with a single fitting parameter (the time delay between surface and volume synthesis) is quantitatively consistent with our SA/V experimental observations. The model supports that this time delay is due to differential expression of volume and surface-related genes, and that the first division after dilution occurs at a tightly controlled SA/V. Our minimal model thus provides insight into the connections between bacterial growth rate and cell shape in dynamic environments.

  2. Hughes, Kelly T. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Bacterial growth under nutrient-rich and starvation conditions is intrinsically tied to the environmental history and physiological state of the population. While high-throughput technologies have enabled rapid analyses of mutant libraries, technical and biological challenges complicate data collection and interpretation. Here, we present a framework for the execution and analysis of growth measurements with improved accuracy over that of standard approaches. Using this framework, we demonstrate key biological insights that emerge from consideration of culturing conditions and history. We determined that quantification of the background absorbance in each well of a multiwell plate is critical for accurate measurements of maximal growth rate. Using mathematical modeling, we demonstrated that maximal growth rate is dependent on initial cell density, which distorts comparisons across strains with variable lag properties. We established a multiple-passage protocol that alleviates the substantial effects of glycerol on growth in carbon-poor media, and we tracked growth rate-mediated fitness increases observed during a long-term evolution of Escherichia coli in low glucose concentrations. Finally, we showed that growth of Bacillus subtilis in the presence of glycerol induces a long lag in the next passage due to inhibition of a large fraction of the population. Transposon mutagenesis linked this phenotype to themore »incorporation of glycerol into lipoteichoic acids, revealing a new role for these envelope components in resuming growth after starvation. Together, our investigations underscore the complex physiology of bacteria during bulk passaging and the importance of robust strategies to understand and quantify growth. IMPORTANCE How starved bacteria adapt and multiply under replete nutrient conditions is intimately linked to their history of previous growth, their physiological state, and the surrounding environment. While automated equipment has enabled high-throughput growth measurements, data interpretation and knowledge gaps regarding the determinants of growth kinetics complicate comparisons between strains. Here, we present a framework for growth measurements that improves accuracy and attenuates the effects of growth history. We determined that background absorbance quantification and multiple passaging cycles allow for accurate growth rate measurements even in carbon-poor media, which we used to reveal growth-rate increases during long-term laboratory evolution of Escherichia coli . Using mathematical modeling, we showed that maximum growth rate depends on initial cell density. Finally, we demonstrated that growth of Bacillus subtilis with glycerol inhibits the future growth of most of the population, due to lipoteichoic acid synthesis. These studies highlight the challenges of accurate quantification of bacterial growth behaviors.« less
  3. Environmental fluctuations are a common challenge for single-celled organisms; enteric bacteria such asEscherichia coliexperience dramatic changes in nutrient availability, pH, and temperature during their journey into and out of the host. While the effects of altered nutrient availability on gene expression and protein synthesis are well known, their impacts on cytoplasmic dynamics and cell morphology have been largely overlooked. Here, we discover that depletion of utilizable nutrients results in shrinkage ofE. coli’s inner membrane from the cell wall. Shrinkage was accompanied by an ∼17% reduction in cytoplasmic volume and a concurrent increase in periplasmic volume. Inner membrane retraction after sudden starvation occurred almost exclusively at the new cell pole. This phenomenon was distinct from turgor-mediated plasmolysis and independent of new transcription, translation, or canonical starvation-sensing pathways. Cytoplasmic dry-mass density increased during shrinkage, suggesting that it is driven primarily by loss of water. Shrinkage was reversible: upon a shift to nutrient-rich medium, expansion started almost immediately at a rate dependent on carbon source quality. A robust entry into and recovery from shrinkage required the Tol-Pal system, highlighting the importance of envelope coupling during shrinkage and recovery.Klebsiella pneumoniaealso exhibited shrinkage when shifted to carbon-free conditions, suggesting a conserved phenomenon. These findings demonstratemore »that even when Gram-negative bacterial growth is arrested, cell morphology and physiology are still dynamic.

    « less