The response of the estuarine human pathogen to starvation for carbon, nitrogen or phosphorus, or all three nutrients simultaneously (multiple-nutrient), was examined with respect to the maintenance of culturability during incubation at low temperature. showed similar survival patterns during starvation for the individual nutrients when kept at 24 C. On the other hand, cultures prestarved at 24 C and then shifted to 5 C maintained culturability at low temperature in a starvation-condition-dependent manner. Carbon and multiple-nutrient starvation were indistinguishable in their ability to mediate maintenance of culturability in the cold. Prolonged starvation for phosphorus had a similar effect, but nitrogen starvation did not allow for maintenance of culturability. Extracellular factors produced during starvation were not observed to have an effect on the culturability of cells incubated at low temperature. Protein synthesis during starvation for individual nutrients was analysed by two-dimensional PAGE of pulse-labelled proteins. Carbon and multiple-nutrient starvation gave nearly identical protein induction patterns involving at least 34 proteins, indicating that carbon starvation determines both responses. Nitrogen starvation for 1 h induced 24 proteins, while phosphorus starvation induced a set of 10 proteins after 1 h and about 40 proteins after 18 h. It is suggested that starvation for carbon or phosphorus induces maintenance of culturability of incubated at low temperature via the synthesis of distinct sets of starvation-specific proteins.


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