Global gene expression was monitored in long-term stationary phase (LSP) cells of E. coli K12 MG1655 and compared with stationary phase (SP) cells that were sub-cultured without prolonged delay to get an insight into the survival strategies of LSP cells. The experiments were carried out using both LB medium and LB supplemented with 10% of glycerol. In both the media the LSP cells showed decreased growth rate compared to SP cells. DNA microarray analysis of LSP cells in both the media resulted in the up- and down-regulation of several genes in LSP cells compared to their respective SP cells in the corresponding media. In LSP cells grown in LB 204 genes whereas cells grown in LB plus glycerol 321 genes were differentially regulated compared to the SP cells. Comparison of these differentially regulated genes indicated that irrespective of the medium used for growth in LSP cells expression of 95 genes (22 genes up-regulated and 73 down-regulated) were differentially regulated. These 95 genes could be associated with LSP status of the cells and are likely to influence survival and growth characteristics of LSP cells. This is indeed so since the up- and down-regulated genes include genes that protect E. coli LSP cells from stationary phase stress and genes that would help to recover from stress when transferred into fresh medium. The growth phenotype in LSP cells could be attributed to up-regulation of genes coding for insertion sequences that confer beneficial effects during starvation, genes coding for putative transposases and simultaneous down-regulation of genes coding for ribosomal protein synthesis, transport-related genes, non-coding RNA genes and metabolic genes. As yet we still do not know the role of several unknown genes and genes coding for hypothetical proteins which are either up- or down-regulated in LSP cells compared to SP cells.
Arunasri, K., Adil, M., Khan, P. A. A., & Shivaji, S. (2014). Global gene expression analysis of long-term stationary phase effects in E. coli K12 MG1655. PLoS ONE, 9(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0096701