Survival of Enterococcus faecalis in an Oligotrophic Microcosm: Changes in Morphology, Development of General Stress Resistance, and Analysis of Protein Synthesis Downloaded from

Abstract : The ability of Enterococcus faecalis to metabolically adapt to an oligotrophic environment has been analyzed. E. faecalis is able to survive for prolonged periods under conditions of complete starvation established by incubation in tap water. During incubation in this microcosm, cells developed a rippled cell surface with irregular shapes. Exponentially growing cells survived to the same extent as cells starved for glucose prior to exposure to the multiple nutrient deficient stress. Chloramphenicol treatment during incubation in tap water led to a rapid decline in plate counts for exponentially growing cells but showed progressively reduced influence on stationary-phase cells harvested after different times of glucose starvation. During incubation in the oligotrophic environment, cells from the exponential-growth phase and early-stationary phase became progressively more resistant to other environmental stresses (heat [62°C], acid [pH 3.3], UV 254 nm light [180 J/m 2 ], and sodium hypochlorite [0.05%]) until they reached a maximum of survival characteristic for each treatment. In contrast, cells starved of glucose for 24 h did not become more resistant to the different treatments during incubation in tap water. Our combined data suggest that energy starvation induces a response similar to that triggered by oligotrophy. Analysis of protein synthesis by two-dimensional gel elec-trophoresis revealed the enhanced synthesis of 51 proteins which were induced in the oligotrophic environment. A comparison of these oligotrophy-inducible proteins with the 42 glucose starvation-induced polypep-tides (J. C. Giard, A. Hartke, S. Flahaut, P. Boutibonnes, and Y. Auffray, Res. Microbiol. 148:27-35, 1997) showed that 16 are common between the two different starvation conditions. These proteins and the corresponding genes seem to play a key role in the observed phenomena of long-term survival and development of general stress resistance of starved cultures of E. faecalis.
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Axel Hartke, Jean-Christophe Giard, Jean-Marie Laplace, Yanick Auffray. Survival of Enterococcus faecalis in an Oligotrophic Microcosm: Changes in Morphology, Development of General Stress Resistance, and Analysis of Protein Synthesis Downloaded from. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 1998, 64 (11), pp.4238-4245. ⟨hal-02187969⟩

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