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J Bacteriol. 2006 Nov;188(21):7617-25. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

Transcriptome profiling reveals the importance of plasmid pSymB for osmoadaptation of Sinorhizobium meliloti.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología del Suelo y Sistemas Simbióticos, Estación Experimental del Zaidin, CSIC, Prof. Albareda 1, E-18008 Granada, Spain.


In this work, DNA microarrays were used to investigate genome-wide transcriptional responses of Sinorhizobium meliloti to a sudden increase in external osmolarity elicited by addition of either NaCl or sucrose to exponentially growing cultures. A time course of the response within the first 4 h after the osmotic shock was established. We found that there was a general redundancy in the differentially expressed genes after NaCl or sucrose addition. Both kinds of stress resulted in induction of a large number of genes having unknown functions and in repression of many genes coding for proteins with known functions. There was a strong replicon bias in the pattern of the osmotic stress response; whereas 64% of the upregulated genes had a plasmid localization, 85% of the downregulated genes were chromosomal. Among the pSymB osmoresponsive genes, 83% were upregulated, suggesting the importance of this plasmid for S. meliloti osmoadaptation. Indeed, we identified a 200-kb region in pSymB needed for adaptation to saline shock which has a high density of osmoregulated genes.

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