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Optimization and control in bacterial Lag phase

Daniel Schultz and Roy Kishony*

Author Affiliations

Harvard Medical School, Systems Biology Department, 200 Longwood Ave, Warren Alpert 519, Boston, MA 02115, USA

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BMC Biology 2013, 11:120  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-120

Published: 30 December 2013


The lag phase of bacterial growth is important from a medical and food safety perspective, but difficult to study due to the low density and metabolic rate of cells. A new study by Alon and colleagues reveals that the gene expression program during early lag phase prioritizes carbon source utilization enzymes over genes responsible for biomass accumulation. This cellular strategy ultimately maximizes growth, making the best long-term use of the new nutrient-rich environment.

See research article: webcite