Jonathan Dworkin

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The dynamic process of differentiation depends on the architecture, quantitative parameters, and noise of underlying genetic circuits. However, it remains unclear how these elements combine to control cellular behavior. We analyzed the probabilistic and transient differentiation of Bacillus subtilis cells into the state of competence. A few key parameters(More)
Bacteria can respond to adverse environmental conditions by drastically reducing or even ceasing metabolic activity. They must then determine that conditions have improved before exiting dormancy, and one indication of such a change is the growth of other bacteria in the local environment. Growing bacteria release muropeptide fragments of the cell wall into(More)
The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis can initiate the process of sporulation under conditions of nutrient limitation. Here, we review some of the last 5 years of work in this area, with a particular focus on the decision to initiate sporulation, DNA translocation, cell-cell communication, protein localization and spore morphogenesis. The progress(More)
The phage-shock-protein (psp) operon helps to ensure survival of Escherichia coli in late stationary phase at alkaline pH, and protects the cell against dissipation of its proton-motive force against challenge. It is strongly induced by filamentous phage pIV and its bacterial homologues, and by mutant porins that don't localize properly, as well as by a(More)
Genomic studies have revealed the presence of Ser/Thr kinases and phosphatases in many bacterial species, although their physiological roles have largely been unclear. Here we review bacterial Ser/Thr kinases (eSTKs) that show homology in their catalytic domains to eukaryotic Ser/Thr kinases and their partner phosphatases (eSTPs) that are homologous to(More)
Bacteria can exist in metabolically inactive states that allow them to survive conditions that are not conducive for growth. Such dormant cells may sense when conditions have improved and re-initiate growth, lest they be outcompeted by their neighbours. Growing bacteria turn over and release large quantities of their cell walls into the environment. Drawing(More)
Upon release from the seminiferous epithelium, spermatoza show a small droplet of cytoplasm attached to the neck region. During transit of spermatozoa in the caput epididymidis, this cytoplasmic droplet migrates along the middle piece of the flagellum. In the corpus epididymidis, the droplet shows a lateral displacement, while in the cauda epididymidis it(More)
Development normally occurs similarly in all individuals within an isogenic population, but mutations often affect the fates of individual organisms differently. This phenomenon, known as partial penetrance, has been observed in diverse developmental systems. However, it remains unclear how the underlying genetic network specifies the set of possible(More)
Although peptidoglycan synthesis is one of the best-studied metabolic pathways in bacteria, the mechanism underlying the membrane translocation of lipid II, the undecaprenyl-disaccharide pentapeptide peptidoglycan precursor, remains mysterious. Recently, it was proposed that the essential Escherichia coli mviN gene encodes the lipid II flippase. Bacillus(More)