Document Detail

Heterocyst differentiation in Cylindrospermum licheniforme: studies on the role of transcription.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6204007     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Heterocysts of the cyanobacterium Cylindrospermum licheniforme occur at the ends of the filaments. These cells, specialized for aerobic N2 fixation, synchronously differentiate after the fragmentation of filaments grown in a medium free of combined nitrogen. This study has examined the role of transcription during and after heterocyst differentiation. Autoradiography of intact filaments pre-labelled for 3 h with [3H]uracil revealed that RNA synthesis occurred at similar rates in vegetative cells, developing (pro)heterocysts and mature heterocysts. Since mature heterocysts no longer divide and contain a similar amount of DNA as vegetative cells, transcription must continue under conditions where replication no longer occurs. Rifampicin, when added to fragmented filaments at concentrations that reduced RNA synthesis by 95% in all cell types, inhibited proheterocyst formation but not the final morphological step of differentiation (pore plug deposition). However, chloramphenicol blocked all stages of heterocyst differentiation. Since the average mRNA half-life was 29 min, and the rifampicin-insensitive stage lasted 3-6 h, the later stages of differentiation may depend on long-lived mRNAs.
S Van de Water; R D Simon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of general microbiology     Volume:  130     ISSN:  0022-1287     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Gen. Microbiol.     Publication Date:  1984 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1984-08-02     Completed Date:  1984-08-02     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375371     Medline TA:  J Gen Microbiol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  789-96     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Chloramphenicol / pharmacology
Cyanobacteria / genetics*
DNA / biosynthesis
Nitrogen Fixation
RNA / biosynthesis
RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
Rifampin / pharmacology
Transcription, Genetic* / drug effects*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/RNA, Messenger; 13292-46-1/Rifampin; 56-75-7/Chloramphenicol; 63231-63-0/RNA; 9007-49-2/DNA

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