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Chemical changes in cell envelope and poly-β-hydroxybutyrate during short term starvation of a marine bacterial isolate

  • Karin Malmcrona-Friberg
  • Anders Tunlid
  • Per Mårdén
  • Staffan Kjelleberg
  • Göran Odham
Publishing year: 1986-05-01
Language: English
Pages: 340-345
Publication/Series: Archives of Microbiology
Volume: 144
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Qualitative and quantitative changes were observed in lipids, poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), and a cell wall peptidoglycan consitutent in a marine bacterial isolate during starvation for 24 h in an energy and nutrient-free medium. While the amount and composition of the membrane fatty acids fluctuated within the first hours of starvation, the total amount of fatty acids decreased during the starvation period. Furthermore, the ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acids decreased and the proportion of short chain fatty acids increased. In the very early phase of starvation the bacteria contained PHB, which had been accumulated during the growth phase, but after 3 h no PHB was detected. Cells starved for phosphorus showed a different pattern as PHB was initially accumulated and did not decrease until 5 h of starvation. Synthesis of the cell wall amino acid d-alanine was initiated during the first phase of starvation. The effects of these changes on membrane fluidity and uptake of substrates as well as the use of fatty acids and PHB as energy resources during starvation are discussed.


  • Microbiology
  • d-Alanine
  • Fatty acid composition
  • Marine bacteria
  • Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate
  • Starvation


  • ISSN: 0302-8933
Anders Tunlid
E-mail: anders [dot] tunlid [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

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