Table_1_Thickness of Polyelectrolyte Layers of Separately Confined Bacteria Alters Key Physiological Parameters on a Single Cell Level.docx (13.49 kB)

Table_1_Thickness of Polyelectrolyte Layers of Separately Confined Bacteria Alters Key Physiological Parameters on a Single Cell Level.docx

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posted on 04.12.2019 by Iaroslav Rybkin, Dmitry Gorin, Gleb Sukhorukov, Aleš Lapanje

Confinement of bacterial cells in a matrix or in capsules is an integral part of many biotechnological applications. Here, the well-known layer-by-layer method of deposition of a polyelectrolyte film a few nanometers in thickness to confine separated bacterial cells in permeable and physically durable shells has been examined. Due to the physical properties of such a confinement, we found that this method enables investigation of effects of physical barriers against mass gain and cell division. Using the method of time-lapse confocal microscopy, we observed a prolonged lag phase, dependent on the number of polyelectrolyte layers. In the confinement, both the GFP fluorescent signal from the leaking T7 promoter and the cell size were increased by factors of more than five and two, respectively. This creates a paradigm shift that enables use of mechanical entrapment for control of bacterial cell physiology and opens possibilities of controlling the division rate as well as gene expression. These effects can be attributed to the perturbation of the sensing of the cell size, which results in disproportional synthesis of a cell envelope impinging the intracellular material and compels cells to grow rapidly. In addition, the charged surface of cells enables prolonged intercellular physical interaction and results in spherically shaped microcolonies.

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