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J Bacteriol. 2010 Feb;192(3):870-82. doi: 10.1128/JB.01106-09. Epub 2009 Nov 30.

A comprehensive proteomics and transcriptomics analysis of Bacillus subtilis salt stress adaptation.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald, Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Str. 15, D-17489 Greifswald, Germany.


In its natural habitats, Bacillus subtilis is exposed to changing osmolarity, necessitating adaptive stress responses. Transcriptomic and proteomic approaches can provide a picture of the dynamic changes occurring in salt-stressed B. subtilis cultures because these studies provide an unbiased view of cells coping with high salinity. We applied whole-genome microarray technology and metabolic labeling, combined with state-of-the-art proteomic techniques, to provide a global and time-resolved picture of the physiological response of B. subtilis cells exposed to a severe and sudden osmotic upshift. This combined experimental approach provided quantitative data for 3,961 mRNA transcription profiles, 590 expression profiles of proteins detected in the cytosol, and 383 expression profiles of proteins detected in the membrane fraction. Our study uncovered a well-coordinated induction of gene expression subsequent to an osmotic upshift that involves large parts of the SigB, SigW, SigM, and SigX regulons. Additionally osmotic upregulation of a large number of genes that do not belong to these regulons was observed. In total, osmotic upregulation of about 500 B. subtilis genes was detected. Our data provide an unprecedented rich basis for further in-depth investigation of the physiological and genetic responses of B. subtilis to hyperosmotic stress.

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