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J Appl Microbiol. 1997 May;82(5):631-40.

Changes with growth rate in the membrane lipid composition of and amino acid utilization by continuous cultures of Campylobacter jejuni.

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  • 1Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK.


Methods and media (defined and complex) are described which permit studies designed to determine the influence of single environmental factors on the survival and virulence of Campylobacter jejuni. The effect of growth rate on selected physiological traits (amino acid utilization, membrane lipid composition, motility, cell morphology) was studied in continuous culture. In both media, growth was at the expense of amino acid (serine, aspartate, glutamate and proline) catabolism. Slow growth in the complex medium shifted amino acid utilization from more (serine and aspartate) to less preferred substrates (glutamate, proline and possibly amino acids from the proteolysis of peptones). Low growth rates promoted the conversion of unsaturated 11-octadecenoic acid substituted phosphatidyl ethanolamines to corresponding 11-methylene substituted species, a feature correlated with stationary phase and exposure to environmental stress in other organisms. During continuous growth, cells lost motility although they still possessed flagella. Slow growth resulted in longer cells. Future studies will investigate the independent effects of nutrient stress and growth rate on the virulence and persistence of cells.

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