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Identification, Timing, and Signal Specificity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum-Controlled Genes: a Transcriptome Analysis

By Martin Schuster, C. Phoebe Lostroh, Tomoo Ogi and E. P. Greenberg

Abstract

There are two interrelated acyl-homoserine lactone quorum-sensing-signaling systems in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These systems, the LasR-LasI system and the RhlR-RhlI system, are global regulators of gene expression. We performed a transcriptome analysis to identify quorum-sensing-controlled genes and to better understand quorum-sensing control of P. aeruginosa gene expression. We compared gene expression in a LasI-RhlI signal mutant grown with added signals to gene expression without added signals, and we compared a LasR-RhlR signal receptor mutant to its parent. In all, we identified 315 quorum-induced and 38 quorum-repressed genes, representing about 6% of the P. aeruginosa genome. The quorum-repressed genes were activated in the stationary phase in quorum-sensing mutants but were not activated in the parent strain. The analysis of quorum-induced genes suggests that the signal specificities are on a continuum and that the timing of gene expression is on a continuum (some genes are induced early in growth, most genes are induced at the transition from the logarithmic phase to the stationary phase, and some genes are induced during the stationary phase). In general, timing was not related to signal concentration. We suggest that the level of the signal receptor, LasR, is a critical trigger for quorum-activated gene expression. Acyl-homoserine lactone quorum sensing appears to be a system that allows ordered expression of hundreds of genes during P. aeruginosa growth in culture

Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:1002
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