- The effect of calcium on the transcriptome of sporulating B. subtilis cells
- International Journal of Food Microbiology
- Volume | Issue number
- 133 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Bacterial spores formed in the presence of high concentrations of minerals are a major problem in the food industry because of their extreme heat resistance. In order to enhance our insight in the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon we have performed a detailed time-resolved analysis of the genome-wide transcriptome pattern of Bacillus subtilis sporulated both in the absence and presence of high calcium concentrations. The data was analysed in two ways. First, we determined the influence of the presence of high calcium levels during sporulation on the expression of gene groups as defined in Subtilist and KEGG pathways database. Second, we assessed the differential expression at the level of individual genes. When analysing groups and pathways, we found that those annotated as being involved in sporulation were significantly affected. Also, groups and pathways involved in flagella formation and biofilm matrix production were affected by the presence of calcium in the sporulation medium. When we analysed the behaviour of individual genes we found 305 genes influenced by calcium, including all known spore coat polysaccharide biosynthesis genes (10 induced and 1 repressed). A number of the calcium affected genes were also involved in biofilm formation. Minimal overlap with other stress outputs like sigma B activation and weak acid stress response was noted. Those genes that did overlap were unique to that combination which corroborates the notion that the cells sense these conditions differently.
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