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J Bacteriol. Sep 1979; 139(3): 792–799.
PMCID: PMC218024

Consequences of Ca2+ deficiency on macromolecular synthesis and adenylate energy charge in Yersinia pestis.


A 37 but not 26 degrees C virulent Yersinia pestis is known to require at least 2.5 mM Ca2+ for growth; this requirement is potentiated by Mg2+. After shift of log-phase cells (doubling time of 2 h) from 26 to 37 degrees C in Ca2+-deficient medium, shutoff of net ribonucleic acid synthesis preceded that of protein and cell mass. With 2.5 mM Mg2+, about two doublings in cell mass and number occurred before restriction with synthesis of sufficient deoxyribonucleic acid to account for initiation and termination of two postshift rounds of chromosome replication. Temperature shift with 20 mMMg2+ resulted in a single doubling of cell mass and number with one round of chromosome replication. Subsequent to shutoff of ribonucleic acid accumulation, ribonucleoside but not deoxyribonucleoside triphosphate pools became reduced to about 50% of normal values and the adenylate energy change fell from about 0.8, typical of growing cells, to about 0.6. Excretion of significant concentrations of adenine nucleotides under both permissive and restrictive conditions was observed. Only trace levels (less than 0.01 microM ol/g [dry weight]) of guaninosine 5'-diphosphate 3'-diphosphate accumulated under restrictive or permissive conditions; guanosine 5'-triphosphate 3'-diphosphate was not detected. Return of fully restricted cells from 37 to 26 degrees C with Ca2+ resulted in prompt growth, whereas addition of Ca2+ at 37 degrees C was ineffective. This finding indicates that the observed temperature-sensitive lesion in ribonucleic acid synthesis that results in restriction can be prevented but not reversed by cultivation with Ca2+.

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Selected References

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