Survival: For bacteria, the neighbors co-determine which cell dies first

ScienceDaily | 7/17/2019 | Staff
applecup (Posted by) Level 4
The survival and growth of cells are central factors in biological systems. Scientists such as Ulrich Gerland, Professor for Physics of Complex Biosystems at the TUM, are therefore trying to understand how the molecular components interact to maintain the viability of a group of cells in stress situations.

The team led by Ulrich Gerland has now succeeded in identifying two crucial factors for the survival of a bacterium: the basic energy consumption of a cell and the quantity of energy that the surviving cells can gain per neighboring dead cell, measuring the biomass recycling efficiency.

Researchers - Emergency - Situation - Cells - Bacterium

The researchers emulated an emergency situation in cells of the bacterium Escherichia Coli in which the bacteria were lacking sugar and other carbohydrates. The bacteria therefore had neither energy nor building materials available.

As the first cells died, the surviving cells tried to gain nutrients from the surrounding cell cadavers. The higher the energy turnover of a certain enzyme, the greater was the rate of mortality. The more they were able to recycle from dead cells, the higher was the rate of survival.

Findings - Contributions - Components - Survival - Cells

"Our findings make it possible to quantitatively determine the contributions of individual molecular components to the survival of bacterial cells, for the first time,"...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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