Regulation of filamentation by bacteria and its impact on the productivity of compounds in biotechnological processes

Maria Giovanna Rizzo, Laura Maria De Plano, Domenico Franco
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2020 April 3
The bacteria wall fulfills important physiological functions at the cell, depending on its composition and organization. Many researches focused their studies in understanding the change of its properties not only in strength and permeability, but also in morphological plasticity due to both chemical and physical stresses. In particular, filamentation morphology is a cryptic phenomenon, with involve for great variety of bacteria, which allow them to acquire adaptive benefits. This phenotypic alteration consists of an alteration or lack of cell septation during the cell growth, as consequence of DNA damage or development of stress, such as nutritional factors, antibiotic resistance, low temperature, non-availability of oxygen, high osmolarity, and antimicrobial agents. These cells result in modification of elongation 10-50 times, thickness, chemical composition, and extent of cross-linking of the cell wall polymers than normal-shaped cells. Moreover, the advancement in the morphology engineering permitted the manipulation of the genes encoding the proteins belonging to the plasma membrane or cytoplasm, to have the control over the bacterial shapes and of the its cytoplasmatic environment. In biotechnology application, the intracellular space is primary used for a greater accumulation of secondary products, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). This review provides an insight into environmental induction of filamentation morphology and its use in biotechnological process. KEY POINTS: • Environmental stresses inducing filamentation morphology • Morphology engineering in biotechnological processes • Increase of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) accumulation.

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