Transcriptome analysis of Azospirillum brasilense vegetative and cyst states reveals large-scale alterations in metabolic and replicative gene expression

Elizabeth A. Malinich, Carl E. Bauer
2018 Microbial Genomics  
Several Gram-negative soil bacteria have the ability to differentiate into dormant cysts when faced with harsh environmental conditions. For example, when challenged with nutrient deprivation or desiccation, the plant-growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum brasilense differentiates from a replicative and motile rod-shaped vegetative cell into a non-motile dormant spherical cyst. Currently, little is known about either the metabolic differences that exist between vegetative and cyst cell types,
more » ... nd cyst cell types, or about aspects of cyst physiology that allow dormant cells to survive harsh conditions. Here we compared transcriptomic profiles of vegetative and encysted A. brasilense. We observed that approximately one fifth of the A. brasilense transcriptome undergoes changes in expression between replicative vegetative cells and non-replicative cysts. A dramatic alteration in expression of genes involved in cell wall or cell membrane biogenesis was observed, which is congruent with changes in exopolysaccharide and lipid composition that occur between these cell types. Encysted cells also exhibited repressed mRNA abundance of genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis, ribosomal biogenesis and translation. We further observed that cysts create an anaerobic/micro-aerobic environment, as evidenced by repressed expression of oxidative phosphorylation genes coupled with increased expression of nitrate/nitrite reduction and nitrogen fixation genes.
doi:10.1099/mgen.0.000200 pmid:30058999 fatcat:br4cgalmkjclrb3okdie43xhvm