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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)
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)
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)
In Eubacteria, expression of genes transcribed by an RNA polymerase holoenzyme containing the alternate sigma factor sigma(54) is positively regulated by proteins belonging to the family of enhancer-binding proteins (EBPs). These proteins bind to upstream activation sequences and are required for the initiation of transcription at the sigma(54)-dependent(More)
The requirement of peptidoglycan synthesis for growth complicates the analysis of interactions between proteins involved in this pathway. In particular, the latter steps that involve membrane-linked substrates have proven largely recalcitrant to in vivo analysis. Here, we have taken advantage of the peptidoglycan synthesis that occurs during sporulation in(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)
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)
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)
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)
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)