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Bacterial populations transition between growing and non-growing phases, based on nutrient availability and stress conditions. The hallmark of a growing state is anabolism, including DNA replication and cell division. In contrast, bacteria in a growth-arrested state acquire a resistant physiology and diminished metabolism. However, there is little knowledge on how this transition occurs at the molecular level. Here, we provide new evidence that a multi-element genetic regulatory circuit might work to maintain genetic control among growth-phase transitions in Escherichia coli.This work contributes to the discovering of design principles behind the performance of biological functions, which could be of relevance on the new disciplines of biological engineering and synthetic biology.