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The transition between exponential and stationary phase is a natural phenomenon for all bacteria and requires a massive readjustment of the bacterial transcriptome. Exoribonucleases are key enzymes in the transition between the two growth phases. PNPase, RNase R and RNase II are the major degradative exoribonucleases in Escherichia coli. We analysed the whole transcriptome of exponential and stationary phases from the WT and mutants lacking these exoribonucleases (Δpnp, Δrnr, Δrnb, and ΔrnbΔrnr). When comparing the cells from exponential phase with the cells from stationary phase more than 1000 transcripts were differentially expressed, but only 491 core transcripts were common to all strains. There were some differences in the number and transcripts affected depending on the strain, suggesting that exoribonucleases influence the transition between these two growth phases differently. Interestingly, we found that the double mutant RNase II/RNase R is similar to the RNase R single mutant in exponential phase while in stationary phase it seems to be closer to the RNase II single mutant. This is the first global transcriptomic work comparing the roles of exoribonucleases in the transition between exponential and stationary phase.


Vânia Pobre, Susana Barahona, Tatiane Dobrzanski, Maria Berenice Reynaud Steffens, Cecília M Arraiano. Defining the impact of exoribonucleases in the shift between exponential and stationary phases. Scientific reports. 2019 Nov 07;9(1):16271

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PMID: 31700028

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