Dynamic expression of the translational machinery during Bacillus subtilis life cycle at a single cell level

Alex Rosenberg, Lior Sinai, Yoav Smith, Sigal Ben-Yehuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of bacteria to responsively regulate the expression of translation components is crucial for rapid adaptation to fluctuating environments. Utilizing Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) as a model organism, we followed the dynamics of the translational machinery at a single cell resolution during growth and differentiation. By comprehensive monitoring the activity of the major rrn promoters and ribosomal protein production, we revealed diverse dynamics between cells grown in rich and poor medium, with the most prominent dissimilarities exhibited during deep stationary phase. Further, the variability pattern of translational activity varied among the cells, being affected by nutrient availability. We have monitored for the first time translational dynamics during the developmental process of sporulation within the two distinct cellular compartments of forespore and mother-cell. Our study uncovers a transient forespore specific increase in expression of translational components. Finally, the contribution of each rrn promoter throughout the bacterium life cycle was found to be relatively constant, implying that differential expression is not the main purpose for the existence of multiple rrn genes. Instead, we propose that coordination of the rrn operons serves as a strategy to rapidly fine tune translational activities in a synchronized fashion to achieve an optimal translation level for a given condition.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere41921
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - 25 Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic expression of the translational machinery during Bacillus subtilis life cycle at a single cell level'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this