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The lag-phase during diauxic growth is a trade-off between fast adaptation and high growth rate

Chu, Dominique, Barnes, David J. (2016) The lag-phase during diauxic growth is a trade-off between fast adaptation and high growth rate. Scientific Reports, 6 . E-ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/srep25191)


Bi-phasic or diauxic growth is often observed when microbes are grown in a chemically defined medium containing two sugars (for example glucose and lactose). Typically, the two growth stages are separated by an often lengthy phase of arrested growth, the so-called lag-phase. Diauxic growth is usually interpreted as an adaptation to maximise population growth in multi-nutrient environments. However, the lag-phase implies a substantial loss of growth during the switch-over. It therefore remains unexplained why the lag-phase is adaptive. Here we show by means of a stochastic simulation model based on the bacterial PTS system that it is not possible to shorten the lag-phase without incurring a permanent growth-penalty. Mechanistically, this is due to the inherent and well established limitations of biological sensors to operate efficiently at a given resource cost. Hence, there is a trade-off between lost growth during the diauxic switch and the long-term growth potential of the cell. Using simulated evolution we predict that the lag-phase will evolve depending on the distribution of conditions experienced during adaptation. In environments where switching is less frequently required, the lag-phase will evolve to be longer whereas, in frequently changing environments, the lag-phase will evolve to be shorter.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/srep25191
Uncontrolled keywords: diauxic growth; computational modelling; biological computers, Computational Intelligence Group
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Computational Intelligence Group
Depositing User: Dominique Chu
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 09:46 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 13:19 UTC
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