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Escherichia coli adaptation to cold

Escherichia coli adaptation to cold

Amanda Demackiewicz

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Escherichia coli adaptation to cold

Amanda Demackiewicz1,2, Jerreme Jackson1, Tyrrell Conway11Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 2Niblack Research Scholars Program, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Sudden shifts above or below optimal growth temperatures elicit physiological responses in microorganisms that allow them to survive. With direct implications in food safety and sustainability, the cold shock response in Escherichia coli has been studied extensively. Cold shocked E. coli experience a rapid reduction in translation efficiency by ribosomes and the consequential reduction in protein synthesis. Also observed are concomitant changes in membrane fatty acid composition, to help maintain a level of fluidity that permits normal function, and the induction of cold-inducible proteins which aid in the acclimation to the temporal environmental conditions. While the cold shock response has been studied extensively, the simultaneous regulation of cold-inducible and general stress response signaling in not completely understood. This work focuses on characterizing the role of cold shock proteins (cspA-I) following a temperature shift from 37°C to 10°C. Using reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), we analyzed gene expression during exponential growth, cold shock-induced growth arrest, and the second exponential phase of growth in WT and rpoS mutant (∆rpoS) E. coli.