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Diauxic Inhibition: Jacques Monod's Ignored Work.

TitleDiauxic Inhibition: Jacques Monod's Ignored Work.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBlaiseau, PLouis, Holmes, AM
JournalJ Hist Biol
Date Published2021 May 11

Diauxie is at the origin of research that led Jacques Monod (1910-1976), François Jacob (1920-2013), and André Lwoff (1902-1994) to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965 for their description of the first genetic regulatory model. Diauxie is a term coined by Jacques Monod in 1941 in his doctoral dissertation that refers to microbial growth in two phases. In this article, we first examine Monod's thesis to demonstrate how and why Monod interpreted diauxie as a phenomenon of enzyme inhibition or suppression of adaptive enzymes. We also briefly investigate prior enzyme suppression studies, before Monod's work, which indicate that he is the first person to observe diauxic growth. Second, we analyse Monod's post-thesis publications throughout his scientific career, revealing that diauxic inhibition was a significant part of Monod's scientific activities and greatly fascinated Monod until the end of his life. Paradoxically, Monod's work and interest on diauxic inhibition are still neglected in historical recounts, focused mostly on Monod's enzymatic adaptation studies. Indeed, we uncovered a statement by Monod's colleague, Lwoff, who transformed a quotation from Monod by replacing the word phenomenon with enzymatic adaptation, which we believe has influenced historians. Finally, we offer hypotheses to explain why Lwoff altered Monod's statement.

Alternate JournalJ Hist Biol
PubMed ID33977422

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