Ribonucleic acid synthesis during fruiting body formation in Myxococcus xanthus

B A Smith, M Dworkin
1981 Journal of Bacteriology  
A method has been devised that allowed us, for the first time, to pulse-label M. xanthus celLs with precursors for ribonucleic acid biosynthesis while they were undergoing fruiting body formation. Using this method, we examined patterns of ribonucleic acid (RNA) accumulation throughout the process of fruiting body formation. As development proceeded, the rate of RNA accumulation increased at two periods of the developmental cycle: once just before aggregation and once late in the cycle, when
more » ... the cycle, when sporulation was essentially completed. In contrast to vegetatively growing cells, in which only stable RNA species are labeled during a 30-min pulse, the majority of radioactivity found in RNA from 30-min pulselabeled developing cells was found in an unstable heterodisperse fraction that migrated to the 5S to 16S region of sucrose density gradients and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels. This pattern of incorporation could not be induced (i) by a shift down of vegetatively growing cells to a nutritionally poor medium, in which the generation time was increased to that of developing cells during the growth phase, or (ii) by plating of vegetative cells onto the same solid-surface environment as that of developing cells, but which surface supported vegetative growth rather than fruiting body formation. Thus, the RNA synthesis pattern observed appeared to be related to development per se rather than to nutritional depletion or growth on a solid surface alone. The radioactivity incorporated into the unstable 5S to 16S RNA fraction accumulated as the pulse length was increased from 10 to 30 min; in contrast, an analogous unstable fraction from vegetative cells decreased as pulse length was increased. This suggested that developmental 5S to 168 RNA was more stable than vegetative cell 58 to 168 RNA (presumptive messenger RNA). However, during a 45-min chase period, radioactivity in 30-min-pulse-labeled developmental 5S to 16S RNA decayed to an extent twice that of developmental RNA located in 16S and 23S regions of sucrose density gradients and was considerably less stable than the 5S, 168, and 238 RNA species labeled during a 30-min pulse of vegetative cells.
doi:10.1128/jb.146.1.312-320.1981 fatcat:vwjw3yk5w5duhbwldpau3xnjiu