New publication in Microbiology by Youngster, Wushensky, and Aristilde

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TITLE: Profiling Glucose-Induced Selective Inhibition of Disaccharide Catabolism in Bacillus megaterium QM B1551 by Stable Isotope Labeling

ABSTRACT: We investigated the co-catabolism of carbohydrate mixtures in Bacillus megaterium QM B1551 using a 13C-assisted metabolomics profiling approach. Specifically, we monitored the ability of B. megaterium to achieve the simultaneous catabolism of glucose and a common disaccharide – cellobiose, maltose, or sucrose. Growth experiments indicated that each disaccharide alone can serve as a sole carbon source for B. megaterium, in accordance with the genetic analysis of this bacterium, which predicted diverse metabolic capabilities. However, following growth on 13C-labelled glucose and each unlabelled disaccharide, the labelling patterns of the intracellular metabolites in glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway revealed a hierarchy in disaccharide catabolism: (i) complete inhibition of cellobiose catabolism, (ii) minimal
catabolism of maltose and (iii) unbiased catabolism of sucrose. The labelling of amino acids confirmed this selective assimilation of each substrate in biomass precursors. This study highlights the fact that B. megaterium exhibits a mixed carbohydrate utilization that is different from that of B. subtilis, the most studied model Bacillus species. [Link to Article]