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Cell size is a complex trait, derived from both genetic and environmental factors. Environmental determinants of bacterial cell size identified to date primarily target assembly of cytosolic components of the cell division machinery. Whether certain environmental cues also impact cell size through changes in the assembly or activity of extracytoplasmic division proteins remains an open question. Here, we identify extracellular pH as a modulator of cell division and a significant determinant of cell size across evolutionarily distant bacterial species. In the Gram-negative model organism Escherichia coli, our data indicate environmental pH impacts the length at which cells divide by altering the ability of the terminal cell division protein FtsN to localize to the cytokinetic ring where it activates division. Acidic environments lead to enrichment of FtsN at the septum and activation of division at a reduced cell length. Alkaline pH inhibits FtsN localization and suppresses division activation. Altogether, our work reveals a previously unappreciated role for pH in bacterial cell size control.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PLoS genetics
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Strains of ESCHERICHIA COLI that are a subgroup of SHIGA-TOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI. They cause non-bloody and bloody DIARRHEA; HEMOLYTIC UREMIC SYNDROME; and hemorrhagic COLITIS. An important member of this subgroup is ESCHERICHIA COLI O157-H7.
Strains of Escherichia coli that possess virulence traits which allow them to invade, colonize, and induce disease in tissues outside of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT. They are a cause of URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (UROPATHOGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI); neonatal MENINGITIS; SEPSIS; PNEUMONIA; and SURGICAL WOUND INFECTION.
Strains of ESCHERICHIA COLI characterized by attaching-and-effacing histopathology. These strains of bacteria intimately adhere to the epithelial cell membrane and show effacement of microvilli. In developed countries they are associated with INFANTILE DIARRHEA and infantile GASTROENTERITIS and, in contrast to ETEC strains, do not produce ENDOTOXINS.
An enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli of the O subfamily that can cause severe FOODBORNE DISEASE. The H4 serotype strain produces SHIGA TOXINS and has been linked to human disease outbreaks, including some cases of HEMOLYTIC-UREMIC SYNDROME, resulting from contamination of foods by feces containing E. coli O104.
A species of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria belonging to the K serogroup of ESCHERICHIA COLI. It lives as a harmless inhabitant of the human LARGE INTESTINE and is widely used in medical and GENETIC RESEARCH.