Morphological plasticity as a bacterial survival strategy

Author: Justice, S.S.; Hunstad, D.A.; Cegelski, L.; Hultgren, S.J.

Description: Bacteria have evolved complex systems to maintain consistent cell morphologies. Nevertheless, in certain circumstances, bacteria alter this highly regulated process to transform into filamentous organisms. Accumulating evidence attributes important biological roles to filamentation in stressful environments, including, but not limited to, sites of interaction between pathogenic bacteria and their hosts. Filamentation could represent an intended response to specific environmental cues that promote survival amidst the threats of consumption and killing.

Subject headings: Adaptation, Physiological; Animals; Epithelial Cells/microbiology; Escherichia coli/pathogenicity/physiology; Gram-Negative Bacteria/growth & development/pathogenicity/physiology/ultrastructure; Heat-Shock Response; Host-Pathogen Interactions; Humans; Mycobacterium tuberculosis/growth & development/pathogenicity/physiology/ultrastructure; Urinary Bladder/cytology/microbiology; Urinary Tract Infections/microbiology

Publication year: 2008

Journal or book title: Nature Reviews. Microbiology

Volume: 6

Issue: 2

Pages: 162-168

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 389