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Stationary phase

As the number of cells increases through the log phase, several factors contribute to a slowing of the growth rate. Waste products accumulate and nutrients are gradually used up. In addition, gradual depletion of oxygen begins to limit aerobic cell growth. This combination of unfavorable conditions slows and finally stalls population growth. The total number of live cells reaches a plateau referred to as the stationary phase ( [link] ). In this phase, the number of new cells created by cell division is now equivalent to the number of cells dying; thus, the total population of living cells is relatively stagnant. The culture density in a stationary culture is constant. The culture’s carrying capacity, or maximum culture density, depends on the types of microorganisms in the culture and the specific conditions of the culture; however, carrying capacity is constant for a given organism grown under the same conditions.

During the stationary phase, cells switch to a survival mode of metabolism. As growth slows, so too does the synthesis of peptidoglycans, proteins, and nucleic-acids; thus, stationary cultures are less susceptible to antibiotics that disrupt these processes. In bacteria capable of producing endospores, many cells undergo sporulation during the stationary phase. Secondary metabolites, including antibiotics, are synthesized in the stationary phase. In certain pathogenic bacteria, the stationary phase is also associated with the expression of virulence factors, products that contribute to a microbe’s ability to survive, reproduce, and cause disease in a host organism. For example, quorum sensing in Staphylococcus aureus initiates the production of enzymes that can break down human tissue and cellular debris, clearing the way for bacteria to spread to new tissue where nutrients are more plentiful.

The death phase

As a culture medium accumulates toxic waste and nutrients are exhausted, cells die in greater and greater numbers. Soon, the number of dying cells exceeds the number of dividing cells, leading to an exponential decrease in the number of cells ( [link] ). This is the aptly named death phase , sometimes called the decline phase. Many cells lyse and release nutrients into the medium, allowing surviving cells to maintain viability and form endospores. A few cells, the so-called persisters , are characterized by a slow metabolic rate. Persister cells are medically important because they are associated with certain chronic infections, such as tuberculosis, that do not respond to antibiotic treatment.

Sustaining microbial growth

The growth pattern shown in [link] takes place in a closed environment; nutrients are not added and waste and dead cells are not removed. In many cases, though, it is advantageous to maintain cells in the logarithmic phase of growth. One example is in industries that harvest microbial products. A chemostat ( [link] ) is used to maintain a continuous culture in which nutrients are supplied at a steady rate. A controlled amount of air is mixed in for aerobic processes. Bacterial suspension is removed at the same rate as nutrients flow in to maintain an optimal growth environment.

Questions & Answers

difference between epidermophyton trichophyton and microsporum
Ankita Reply
plz answer the question
Iqra
epidermophyton type of fungi causes superficial and cutaneous mycoses trichophyton is also fungi type including parasitic varieties causes dermatophytosis microsporum is also type of fungi causes dermatophytosis.
Rana
ok
Iqra
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Ankita
what is infectious
Fred Reply
Many poeple are die due to covid-19 virus
AMINU Reply
they become sick due to millions bacteria, fungi and some insects that make plants as their host.
charles Reply
what are microbes and what are their effects to humans
charles Reply
they are organism that cannot be seen with the naked eye
Angel
classify microorganisms.
Satarupa Reply
protozoa' bacteria' virus' algai' archea'
Cabdifitaax
protozoa
Ayesha
Thank you
Satarupa
bacteria,fungi, protozoa and virus
Angel
mutant having a requirement for a certain growth factor is called a(n)
Purushoth Reply
what is atome
Marie Reply
is the smallest part of any material that cannot be broken up by chemical means
Feisal
How does forest tree become sick
Emmanuel
Aseptate hyphae are seen in
lab Reply
yes
Ahmed
w
Ahmed
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Apdikrim
what is ADT
Feisal
hii
Salman
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Feisal
CHEMISTRY
Apdikrim
biology
Ahmed
I.m student
Ahmed
I.m question what is difference between arthropod and insect?
Ahmed
Arthropod is a large division of jointed-foot Invertebrates such as Insects, centipedes and others so Insect is a part of the division or the phylum
hilina
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Ahmed
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hilina
describe binary fission
Queen Reply
in which parent cell devides into two daughter cells
Iqra
single parent cell
Tean
who is the father of microbiology
Mary Reply
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek , he is father of microbiology and Louis Pasteur is father of modern microbioloy.
Arshad
Anton van leeuwenhoek ( He descovered bacteria in 1679)
Satarupa
what is the role of protein in virus genome
Rana Reply
what is microbiological
Apdikrim Reply
Science is a good Subject
AMINU Reply
yes it is
Madrine
what is amoeba
Joy Reply
a single celled organism with finger like extensions
janet
they could either be free living or parasitic
janet
is an organisms with no shape
Joy

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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