A luciferase-based reporter system for the expression of the toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 gene (tst) of Staphylococcus aureus FRI 1187 was used in continuous culture to determine whether high cell density on transient shift-down or shift-up of specific growth rate (μ) induced expression of tst. Little expression occurred at steady state at a low dilution rate (D) and in a transient period of increasing μ. However, a rapid and approximately 130-fold increase in expression occurred during a transient shift-down of μ. These findings suggest reduction of μ is a key element in the control of tst expressio
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