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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Jul;71(3):310-6. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

Growth of Escherichia coli MG1655 on LB medium: monitoring utilization of sugars, alcohols, and organic acids with transcriptional microarrays.

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Integrated Genomics, Inc., Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Microorganisms respond to environmental changes by reprogramming their metabolism primarily through altered patterns of gene expression. DNA microarrays provide a tool for exploiting microorganisms as living sensors of their environment. The potential of DNA microarrays to reflect availability of nutrient components during fermentations on complex media was examined by monitoring global gene expression throughout batch cultivation of Escherichia coli MG1655 on Luria-Bertani (LB) medium. Gene expression profiles group into pathways that clearly demonstrate the metabolic changes occurring in the course of fermentation. Functional analysis of the gene expression related to metabolism of sugars, alcohols, and organic acids revealed that E. coli growing on LB medium switches from a sequential mode of substrate utilization to the simultaneous one in the course of the growth. Maltose and maltodextrins are the first of these substrates to support growth. Utilization of these nutrients associated with the highest growth rate of the culture was followed by simultaneous induction of enzymes involved in assimilation of a large group of other carbon sources including D-mannose, melibiose, D-galactose, L-fucose, L-rhamnose, D-mannitol, amino sugars, trehalose, L-arabinose, glycerol, and lactate. Availability of these nutrients to the cells was monitored by induction of corresponding transport and/or catabolic systems specific for each of the compounds.

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