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J Basic Microbiol. 2019 Mar 22. doi: 10.1002/jobm.201800693. [Epub ahead of print]

Responses to copper stress in the metal-resistant bacterium Cupriavidus gilardii CR3: a whole-transcriptome analysis.

Huang N1,2, Mao J2, Hu M3, Wang X1,2, Huo M1.

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Engineering Lab for Water Pollution Control and Resources, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, People's Republic of China.
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration of National Environmental Protection, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, People's Republic of China.
Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, Changchun University of Technology, Changchun, People's Republic of China.


Microbial metal-resistance mechanisms are the basis for the application of microorganisms in metal bioremediation. Despite the available studies of bacterial molecular mechanisms to resistance metals ions (particularly copper), the understanding of bacterial metal resistance is very limited from the transcriptome perspective. Here, responses of the transcriptome (RNA-Seq) was investigated in Cupriavidus gilardii CR3 exposed to 0.5 mM copper, because strain CR3 had a bioremoval capacity of 38.5% for 0.5 mM copper. More than 24 million clean reads were obtained from six libraries and were aligned against the C. gilardii CR3 genome. A total of 310 genes in strain CR3 were significantly differentially expressed under copper stress. Apart from the routine copper resistance operons cus and cop known in previous studies, Gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses of differentially expressed genes indicated that the adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter, amino acid metabolism, and negative chemotaxis collectively contribute to the copper-resistant process. More interestingly, we found that the genes associated with the type III secretion system were induced under copper stress. No such results were reordered in bacteria to date. Overall, this comprehensive network of copper responses is useful for further studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying responses to copper stress in bacteria.


Cupriavidus; RNA-Seq; bacteria; copper


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