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Microbiology. 2005 Mar;151(Pt 3):855-861. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.27428-0.

The interplay of glycogen metabolism and differentiation provides an insight into the developmental biology of Streptomyces coelicolor.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.


Mycelial colonies of the developmentally complex actinomycete Streptomyces coelicolor growing on solid medium contain glycogen in two distinct locations. Phase I deposits are found in a substrate mycelium region bordering the developing aerial mycelium. Their production involves GlgBI, one of two glycogen branching enzyme isoforms. Phase II deposits occur in the upper regions of aerial hyphae, in long tip cells that are dividing, or have just divided, into unigenomic prespore compartments. Their formation involves a second branching enzyme isoform, GlgBII. To find out if the gene for the second isoform, glgBII, is regulated by any of the well-studied whiA, B, G, H or I genes needed for sporulation septation, glgBI or glgBII was disrupted in a set of whi mutants, and the glycogen phenotypes examined by transmission electron microscopy. In the whiG mutants, deposits were found throughout the aerial mycelium and the adjacent region of the substrate mycelium, but the morphology of all the deposits, i.e. whether they were in the form of granules of branched glycogen or large blobs of unbranched glycan, depended solely on GlgBI. In contrast, the whiA, B, H and I mutations had no obvious effect on the pattern of glycogen deposition, or on the spatial specificity of the branching enzyme isoforms (though phase II glycogen deposits were reduced in size and abundance in the whiA and B mutants, and increased in the whiH mutant). These results indicate that glgBII is regulated (directly or indirectly) by whiG, and not by any of the other whi genes tested, and that the aerial hyphae of a whiG mutant are atypical in being physiologically similar to the substrate hyphae from which they emerge. A new role for aerial hyphae is proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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